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Oak Creek police arrest two drunken drivers during one traffic stop

Jan. 08, 2013 11:34 a.m. | Oak Creek - An officer waiting for a tow truck after arresting a Franklin man for drunken driving in the 2600 block of West Rawson Avenue arrested a second drunken driver at the same location during the early morning hours of Dec. 30.

According to the Oak Creek police report:

An officer came across a vehicle parked in the middle of the road in the 2600 block of West Rawson Avenue about 2:45 a.m. Dec. 30. While questioning the driver, a 26-year-old Franklin man, the officer noticed the man smelled of alcohol. The man admitted to drinking four drinks in a bar prior to driving and failed field sobriety tests. A breath test showed he had a blood-alcohol content of 0.13, and he was arrested for drunken driving.

While the officer sat in his squad waiting for the driver's car to be towed from the scene, about 3:25 a.m., another driver pulled up behind the squad, stopped his car in traffic and began texting on his cellphone. The squad had its emergency lights activated at the time.

The officer went to talk to the driver, a 23-year-old Oak Creek man, and found he had slurred speech and red, glassy eyes and smelled of alcohol. The man admitted to drinking at bars in downtown Milwaukee with friends and stated multiple times that he had made a stupid mistake, should not have driven home and that he was too drunk to drive. He also failed field sobriety tests and was arrested for drunken driving. His BAC was 0.14.

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Wisconsin DOT: South 27th Street is open for business during holiday season

4:14 p.m. | Oak Creek and Franklin — Shoppers will have an easier time navigating the South 27th Street corridor this holiday season, the Department of Transportation announced Nov. 24.

The department recently completed a major milestone of the Highway 241 (or South 27th Street) reconstruction project, which stretches from south of Drexel Avenue to north of College Avenue in Milwaukee County.

"For those who haven't been to Oak Creek or Franklin in a while, it's a great time to rediscover South 27th Street," said Brian DeNeve of the DOT's Southeast Region Communications. "Motorists shouldn't be afraid of the road work on South 27th Street as recent improvements have made it easier to travel there."

Construction crews were able to switch traffic to have northbound motorists driving on the newly-constructed concrete pavement on Nov. 16.

During the holiday season, most median openings will remain open. Two lanes of traffic will also be open in each direction, north of Minnesota Avenue. One lane of traffic will be open each way south of Minnesota Avenue, with plans to open two lanes in mid-December.

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Meijer to provide food for Oak Creek's annual 'Evening of Blessings'

1:46 p.m. | Oak Creek — Meijer, the new supercenter in Drexel Town Square, will provide food for the Oak Creek Community Center's 10th annual "Evening of Blessings" from 4 to 7 p.m. Nov. 25.

The annual event, staffed by 100 volunteers, is a free, public event focused on providing a Thanksgiving meal to community members, including local senior citizens, individuals without families in the area, and those who may not be able to afford a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.

"Our mission at Meijer is to provide healthy and affordable food options to the communities we serve," Oak Creek Meijer Store Director Polly Emelander said. "Partnering with the Oak Creek Community Center was a natural fit and we're happy to support to a community that has been so welcoming."

The event will be held at the community center, 8580 S. Howell Ave.

"We're grateful to Meijer for providing the majority of the food for this year's Thanksgiving meal," said Rich Duchniak, executive director of the Oak Creek Community Center. "Our Evening of Blessings has become a Thanksgiving tradition for many residents in the community and we're proud to have Meijer as a partner."

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Greendale School Board Academy to be held for prospective spring election candidates

10:48 a.m. | Greendale — Village residents interested in running for a seat on the Greendale School Board in the spring election will have an opportunity to learn more during the annual School Board Academy on Monday, Dec. 14.

During the meeting, Greendale's Interim Superintendent Dr. Paul Strobel and School Board President Joe Crapitto will present information on the duties and responsibilities of school board members, school finance, law, and personnel issues, ethical practices and accountability.

The five-member school board will have two positions on the 2016 Spring Ballot. The successful candidate will serve a regular, three-year term on the board. Ballot. To be on the ballot, all candidates must submit the required Declaration of Candidacy and file their Campaign Registration Statement at the District Office by 5 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 5.

The School Board Academy will be held from 7 to 8 p.m. in the Greendale School District Office, 6815 Southway. Registration for the event is requested by 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 11., requested by calling Mary Ann Jacobsen at (414) 423-2700, ext. 2702.

Franklin girls basketball team has talent, looks for depth

10:17 a.m. | Normally in any other year, Franklin girls basketball coach Tony Kathrens would welcome changes like the 18-minute halves and 36-minute games that are being experimented with this season by the WIAA.

Because the Sabers have always lived by being uptempo and by running as many people into the game as humanly possible.

But this is not any other year for Franklin. Despite the return of three starters, Kathrens worries about having enough depth to handle the rigors of the longer game over a 22-game schedule, especially when it has to try and challenge three-time Southeast champion and archrival Oak Creek at least twice a season.

"At our best, I think we can go seven or eight deep," he said. "Everyone else is learning this year."

The Sabers will have a chaotic opening week that will severely test that depth. They challenged Martin Luther on Nov. 24 and then will have two state-ranked challenges this weekend in the Brookfield Central Shootout. They will play De Pere at 3:45 p.m. Friday, Nov. 27, and then will take on Green Bay Notre Dame at 10:45 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 28.

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Oak Creek pulls away late to beat Brookfield Central, 59-46

Nov. 21, 2015 12:25 p.m. | Both Oak Creek and Brookfield Central played their first girls basketball game of the season Friday night at Central as the Knights pulled away in the second half for a 59-46 victory.

There were some good things and bad things for both teams according to the coaches.

The Knights are coming off a 14-0 Southeast Conference Championship, having lost to Divine Savior Holy Angels in the sectional finals to finish 21-5.

After a low-scoring first half — Oak Creek led, 17-16 — which was dominated by defense and poor shooting, the Knights pulled away late in the second half (42-30) to win by 13 points.

“It looked like the first game (of the season) in the first half,” Oak Creek coach Steve Hluchnik said. “I honestly didn’t know what to expect. I thought we would struggle at times scoring, but not like that. We were 0-for-11 in the paint in the first half. The posts got their butts chewed in the first half and we didn’t perform like we could in the first half.”

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Oak Creek 8th graders 'view the world' as journalists in writing unit, 4 essays to be posted online

Nov. 19, 2015 2:40 p.m. | Oak Creek — Hundreds of eighth-graders from across the Oak Creek-Franklin Joint School District dove into the world of investigative journalism as part of their writing unit this fall.

And four of those students from East Middle School are now featured online, through a partnership with MyCommunityNow Newspapers.

As part of the journalism unit, students were asked to address a topical subject through narrative writing. Topics ranged from school commentary to local government to social issues, such as teen pregnancy.

The program is designed to "synthesize story writing skills with informative writing, like professional journalists do," said Language Arts teacher Dan Piotrowski, one of four teachers who organized the unit. "The journalism unit also encourages students to begin viewing the world from a new perspective, one from which they need to observe details, gather quotes and synthesize multiple perspectives to tell a relevant news story."

This is the second year the district has taught a journalism unit to its eighth-grade classes, having adopted a new comprehensive writing curriculum during the 2014-15 school year. Although the new curriculum is only two years old, middle school teachers have already seen significant improvement in their students' writing abilities, Piotrowski said.

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Updated state championship game rankings of area prep football teams and players

Franklin's $37 million budget for 2016 sees few tax changes

Nov. 18, 2015 4:52 p.m. | Franklin — The City of Franklin will see no increase in the tax levy for the third year in a row — the Common Council voted to adopt the 2016 city budget on Nov. 17.

After some expenditures were cut from the mayor's recommended budget — amendments motioned by Alderman Steve Taylor, and passed by the Committee of the Whole on Oct. 13 — the 2016 budget came in at a total of about $37 million, a nine percent decrease from 2015's budget of $41 million. The tax levy remained at about $20.5 million, unchanged from the last three years.

The lower total budget amount is because of a lower Capital Improvement Fund, said Director of Finance and Treasurer Paul Rotzenberg said. A new water and waste building was included in the 2015 budget.

The 2016 tax rate is about $6.26 per $1,000 of assessed property value, a less than one percent decrease from 2015's tax rate of $6.30. A home valued at $200,000 will pay about $1,250 in property taxes in 2016.

The 2016 budget will allow for $25,000 in additional appropriations within the Economic Development division for additional professional services or resources.

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Rawson Avenue closure beginning Nov. 18

Nov. 18, 2015 12:21 p.m. | Franklin — Rawson Avenue at Highway 100 will be closed for one to two weeks, beginning on Wednesday, Nov. 18, according to the City of Franklin's website.

Rawson Avenue, including the ramps to and from Highway 100, will be closed for an emergency storm sewer repair by Milwaukee County, beginning at 6 a.m. on Nov. 18.

While a detour route is posted, the city's website advised drivers to choose an alternate route during the closure.

Cudahy man found dead near hunting tree stand in Adams County

Nov. 18, 2015 11:56 a.m. | A Cudahy man who was last seen alive Saturday has been found dead near a tree stand in Adams County, officials say.

The man, Linn C. Nelson, 75, was reported missing to the Adams County Sheriff's Office Dispatch Center on Tuesday just after 10:30 a.m., according to a news release. Nelson was reportedly in the area hunting.

Nelson's vehicle was located in the town of Preston on public hunting land, and he was found dead near the base of a hunting tree stand. Officials say the investigation does not show there to be foul play. No further details are available.

Greendale trustees raise tax levy 1 percent, bump up budget by 45 percent to construct fire station

Nov. 18, 2015 11:37 a.m. | Greendale — Despite one trustee's request to freeze the tax levy for 2015, the Greendale Village Board recently approved a 1 percent increase for taxpayers.

For most residents whose home values remained the same during a recent assessment of property, the 1 percent increase would actually result in 1.3 percent increase in their tax bill. The average homeowner would see an increase of about $20.

During a Committee of the Whole meeting Nov. 17, trustee Carl Genz argued for a reduction in the village's proposed budget to help Greendale's senior residents.

"Twenty dollars might not seem like a lot to some people, but it means a lot to others … (especially) for the elderly and seniors in the village who are on a fixed income and rely on social security," Genz said.

The number zero

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Coming off good season, will Oak Creek football team dare to be great?

Nov. 17, 2015 9:27 p.m. | It was a "good vibe" team all fall for Oak Creek football coach Mike Bartholomew in what was supposed to be a heavy rebuilding year for the Knights.

But now Bartholomew wants to take that "good vibe" and make it great. The Knights finished with an encouraging 8-3 mark this season with a tough season-ending loss to Classic 8 Conference co-champion Muskego.

They will return a very healthy number of players from that squad, will add in people from an 8-1 junior varsity team and should be a preseason favorite in the Southeast. But Bartholomew wants them to think bigger things.

He met with next year's seniors last week and and posed them a simple question: "Do you want to be good or do you want to be great?"

In short, as he left on a recent message, telling me that he would not be going to any Level 3 playoff games because "he's sick of going to them as a spectator," he wants more from his players.

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Nine Oak Creek athletes sign letters of intent

Nov. 17, 2015 8:59 p.m. | It was a red-letter signing day for Oak Creek athletic program on Nov. 11 as nine athletes signed letters of intent indicating what they'd like to do with their futures.

Highlighting the list is 2015 Now All-Suburban boys basketball player Harrison Cleary, who signed with NCAA D2 Minnesota-Crookston as a guard. Meanwhile, three members of the defending Southeast Conference girls basketball team, guard Katie Settingsgaard (Olivet Nazarene University) and forwards Madison Hart (McKendree University) and Nicole Widenski (Lee University), will all play in college next year.

Though the volleyball season was a struggle for the Knights, top performer Sara Januszewski received an offer from Ohio University from the Mid-American Conference and will attend school there next fall. A member of the defending Southeast Conference and WIAA sectional champion Knight wrestling team, Ethan Kaschak, will try his hand with William Penn University.

Athletic director and baseball coach Scott Holler was very pleased to note that three members of his Southeast Conference champion and WIAA sectional runner-up team will continue on: pitcher/infielder DJ Ellifson (St. Cloud State), pitcher/outfielder Matt Hamilton (Illinois State) and pitcher Kurtis Sippy (College of Lake County).

Franklin, Oak Creek swimmers finish well at state

Nov. 17, 2015 3:51 p.m. | The girls swimming season for Franklin and Oak Creek ended on solid notes on Nov. 14 in the WIAA D1 meet at the UW-Madison Natatorium.

In her second state meet, Oak Creek sophomore Cassie Ketterling broke her own school record in the 200-yard individual medley by tying for ninth in a time of 2:06.68, which was almost a full second faster than what she swam the previous week in the sectional.

She later came back turned in another best time in taking 12th in the 500 free with a 5:09.57 clocking, which was again over a full second faster than what she swam at sectional.

Knight teammate junior Isabelle Anderson had a sound debut, surviving both the early cuts in diving and taking 14th with a fine score of 368.8 points.

Those efforts gave the Knights a total of 16 points, good for a tie for 26th as Arrowhead won yet another state title with 301 points.

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Hales Corners Chamber of Commerce to host social on Nov. 24

Nov. 17, 2015 3:44 p.m. | Hales Corners— The Hales Corners Chamber of Commerce will host a social on Tuesday, Nov. 24, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at That's Amore Italian Restaurant, located at 5080 South 108th St., Greenfield.

West Allis Mayor Dan Devine will be speaking on the topic of "how business development is rejuvenating neighborhoods in the City of West Allis."

RSVP by calling 414-425-7150.

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