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Arrest made in connection to Oak Creek apartment burglaries

Feb. 19, 2013 9:00 p.m. | Oak Creek - A police investigation of two burglaries in the same apartment building led to the Feb. 15 arrest of an 18-year-old man who lives in the apartment complex.

According to the Oak Creek police report:

The investigation started when an apartment resident in the 100 block of East Field Stone Circle came home and discovered his Xbox gaming system and $350 worth of videogames had been stolen from his locked apartment between 7:15 a.m. and 5 p.m. Dec. 6.

On Feb. 14 police responded to the same apartment building after a resident reported more than $1,400 worth of electronics, including a flat-screen television, two gaming consoles, two hand-held gaming systems and numerous video games, had been stolen from his home between 7:45 a.m. and 3:40 p.m.

In both cases there were no signs of forced entry and no evidence was found at either apartment.

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Young Entrepreneurs Academy to pilot program at Greendale High

March 25, 2015 4:57 p.m. | Greendale — Young Entrepreneurs Academy will pilot its first program in southeastern Wisconsin at Greendale High School starting this fall.

YEA! is an innovative program that transforms local middle and high school students into real entrepreneurial successes.

YEA! takes students between the ages of 11 and 18 through the process of planning and launching a real business or social movement over the course of an academic year. By the end of the class, students own and operate fully formed and functioning businesses, which may be carried on after their graduation from the program.

During the nine-month YEA! program, students will brainstorm and form their enterprises, make pitches to real investors, obtain funding, file their DBAs, and by the end, actually launch their own business or social movement. Business mentors and local entrepreneurs across a variety of industries will support the students throughout the program.

Franklin High School seeks preschool-ready children

March 25, 2015 4:42 p.m. | Franklin — A Franklin High School class seeks children ages 3 to 5 who are ready for a preschool environment.

Students in the Child Development 2 class will sponsor Saber Preschool May 4 - 19. The preschool is designed for children who are toilet trained and ready to experience early levels of education. The participating children will work closely with the high school "teachers" to develop one-on-one relationships with them.

The high school teachers are students who are potentially interested in careers related to child development and have completed the Child Development course prerequisites. Teachers prepare daily lesson plans that enable the Little Sabers to develop socially but also enhance their kindergarten readiness skills.

Saber Preschool will include story time, large and small group activities, free time, songs and other activities.

Class time will be 9:30 to 11 a.m. and tuition will be $25 to cover the cost of materials and snacks.

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Franklin Health Dept. asks residents to check home for radon levels

March 25, 2015 9:57 a.m. | Franklin — The City of Franklin encourages residents check their households for radon levels this spring.

Radon is a contributor to thousands of lung cancer deaths each year.

According to Wisconsin Comprehensive Cancer Control Program, Wisconsin's geologic features are associated with creating relatively high levels of radon. Less than one percent of households in the state have tested for radon. Franklin is within an area where more than half of the tested households have elevated radon levels.

Testing households now, before residents open their windows or screen doors, will yield more accurate radon results, said William Wucherer, Franklin's director of health and social services. The health department charges $6.50 per kit.

The radon results will help homeowners determine whether new ventilation equipment will be necessary, Wucherer said.

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New scholarship available to Franklin students pursuing careers in the arts

March 24, 2015 3:17 p.m. | Franklin — Resident students now have an opportunity to apply for a new scholarship program.

The Dr. and Mrs. Michael Schmalz Visual and Performing Arts Scholarship, established March 24, provides for two $1,500 scholarships a year to Franklin resident students pursuing careers in the visual and performing arts.

The scholarships will be funded with money previously raised by the former Franklin Cultural Arts Center, an organization who worked to raise awareness of the need for a Performing Arts Center in Franklin.

"While the construction of a free standing, self-supporting, performing arts center was not in the cards for Franklin, we are thrilled and supportive of the School Districts success in building a performing space for our community," FCAC founder Don Dorsan stated in a news release. "We are thankful to all of those in the community who supported the FCAC over the years, (and) as the major funders of the FCAC it is only fitting that the scholarship be named on behalf of Dr. and Mrs. Schmalz."

Students can access scholarship applications through the Franklin High School website, listed under student services.

Greendale High School educator, student recognized by Kohl Foundation

March 24, 2015 2:42 p.m. | Greendale — The Greendale School District's Tom Reifenberg received a Herb Kohl Foundation Fellowship Award this week for his leadership within the district.

The Kohl Teacher Fellowship program recognizes and supports teaching excellence and innovation in Wisconsin.

Reifenberg — known as "Reif" — is a teacher and director of bands at Greendale High School. He has led the school's marching band, having won 10 consecutive Wisconsin School Music Association Championships.

"Reif's engagement with his students, their families, and band alumni helps to fuel the group's success," the district stated in a news release. "In the classroom and on the field, Reif pushes his students to achieve beyond their expectations and to improve in comparison to the top national talent and programs."

Greendale High School senior Grace Irwin was also awarded a Kohl Excellence Scholarship for her participation in numerous school activities, including the math club, National Honor Society and swim team. She is also a student services aid, working with students with special needs.

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Oak Creek's Drexel Town Square lands $1 million state grant

March 24, 2015 10:07 a.m. | Oak Creek's Drexel Town Square mixed-use development is getting a $1 million state grant to help finance a parking structure for a medical facility to be built there.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. grant is tied to the four-level, 550-space parking structure for a primary and specialty health care center planned by Froedtert Health. The parking structure's construction was a critical factor in Froedtert's decision to locate at Drexel Town Square, according to WEDC's Tuesday announcement.

Froedtert's health care facility could be as large as 200,000 square feet, and valued at an estimated $41 million. Froedtert is continuing to develop its plans for the project, said Cathy Jacobson, president and chief executive officer.

Construction is to begin this fall.

Drexel Town Square is being developed on 85 acres west of S. Howell Ave. and south of W. Drexel Ave. on the former Delphi Corp. factory site.

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St. Francis considers plan to reduce tax district debt

March 24, 2015 7:00 a.m. | St. Francis officials are considering a plan to help reduce debt tied to a financially troubled tax incremental financing district.

The city in 2007 borrowed $4.9 million to do street work and other public improvements within a lakefront area tax district along Lake Drive, Packard Ave. and Howard Ave. Property taxes from new development were to eventually pay off that debt.

But there's been little development within the tax district, forcing the city to use its cash reserves to make debt payments. With interest, that district's current debt is around $5.1 million, said City Administrator Tim Rhode.

The new plan would use property taxes from the future FBI offices to help pay off that debt. Las Vegas-based developer Molasky Group in February bought the former Stark Investments headquarters, 3600 S. Lake Drive, and is renovating it into offices which the bureau will lease for its Milwaukee-area operation.

The new proposal is to be reviewed at Tuesday night's meeting of the Community Development Authority and Planning Commission. It would require Common Council approval.

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Kayla's Krew gets caught in middle of playground fight over site options in Franklin

March 23, 2015 10:17 p.m. | Franklin — It has been an emotional week for Kayla's Krew.

With a deadline quickly approaching to build an all-accessible playground in Franklin, the nonprofit organization is facing more challenges with the city than ever before.

"It's unclear as to how a playground that has had unanimous support in this community can lead to this much controversy," said Shelly Runte, founder and director of Kayla's Krew, at a special meeting March 23. "If our ignorance in city politics or city policy has contributed in any way to this, we apologize. … We are not politicians. We're just citizens who want to build a playground."

Considering alternatives

Complications began earlier this month, when Kayla's Krew declared that Victory of the Lamb Church — the intended location for the playgroundwas not the most ideal site for the project. According to a list of potential locations organized by city staff, the church location, among other "cons," was the most expensive option.

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The Sprint Episode Three: WIAA state basketball tournament retrospective

March 23, 2015 6:00 p.m. | The WIAA state basketball tournament featured a number of local entrants, with two bringing home gold balls and another grabbing silver:

Oak Creek reports former alderwoman Betty Kopplin has died

March 23, 2015 1:04 p.m. | Oak Creek — Longtime alderwoman Elizabeth Kopplin has died, the city reported on Facebook March 23.

"Betty" Kopplin served as District 1 alderwoman for 25 years. She was elected for 13 consecutive terms and served as Common Council President for eight years.

"Betty was a tireless advocate for her constituents," the city stated on Facebook. "Betty was proud to say that she 'did her homework' on all issues that came before the Common Council. And she did. She was always in touch with the residents of the 1st District when an issue affected them. If a constituent had a problem they could count on Betty to investigate and attempt to solve the problem in their behalf."

Kopplin served for many years on the Plan Commission and served on the Community Development Authority, Stormwater Management Committee, Zoning Code Review Committee, and many other committees during her tenure.

"Betty provided great service to the City of Oak Creek and her constituents," the city stated. "She will be missed. Her family is in our collective thoughts and prayers."

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Pleasant View Elementary seeks graduate memories for 50th anniversary

March 23, 2015 9:26 a.m. | Franklin — To prepare for Pleasant View Elementary's 50th anniversary, the school is asking all graduates and community members to share their memories.

Past students can share their memories of the school online by visiting

The anniversary celebration is scheduled for May 29 at the school, 4601 W. Marquette Ave.

For more information, call Pleasant View at (414) 423-4650.

Franklin mayor vetoes Froemming Park location for Kayla's Krew, calls for special meeting

March 20, 2015 10:38 a.m. | Franklin —Kayla's Krew will get a second chance for a new location, after Franklin Mayor Steve Olson formally vetoed the common council's decision earlier this week.

After hours of discussion on March 17, the common council approved — in a 3-2 vote — to move the all-accessible playground to Froemming Park, property currently owned by Milwaukee County.

In his formal veto, Olson offered multiple reasons as to why the playground should not be situated in Froemming Park.

Moving Kayla's Krew to Froemming Park would adversely affect the project's timeline and disregards "more than 1,600 voices of those in our community who share the same goals of Kayla's Krew in bringing the community together to share experiences in a harmonious, caring and fun environment," Olson wrote.

A special meeting to discuss the veto will be held at 5:30 p.m. on March 23 in the Franklin Law Enforcement Center, 9455 W. Loomis Road.

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Strada Pizza due to open this weekend in Bay View

March 20, 2015 8:30 a.m. |

The 10-inch Portobello Bazzi pizza with mushroom, sautéed vegetables, smoked mozzarella and goat cheese.

Bay View is getting a new pizza place on Saturday: Strada Pizza is opening at 2301 S. Howell Ave.

That’s the former site of Mr. Webo’s, a Mexican restaurant. The interior has been redecorated to be more reminiscent of a New York pizza place, manager Benny Mucha said, and it incorporates green materials such as bamboo in place of wood.

Strada will serve New York-style pizzas in 12, 16 and 20 inches that are hand-tossed and topped with ingredients that include grass-fed beef and Wisconsin’s Grande cheese; it also will sell pizza by the slice and in 10-inch pies. Prices for whole pizzas will start at $7 for the 10-inch and $19 for the 20-inch, with toppings extra.

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Airport unveils 3 lactation stations for nursing moms

March 19, 2015 6:17 a.m. | Officials at the General Mitchell International Airport are unveiling three new lactation stations today designed to ease the travel experience of nursing moms and eliminate the need to nurse or pump in a bathroom.

Three free-standing pods from Mamava are situated at various locations throughout the airport. One is located in the terminal’s concession mall near a family-friendly restroom. The other two pods are beyond the security checkpoints on Concourse C and Concourse D.

Each pod features:

  • Two benches
  • A small, fold-down table
  • A USB port
  • Power outlet
  • Soft lighting
  • Room for a stroller or luggage
  • Occupied lock
  • Mirror

"MKE is proud to be the first airport in the nation to purchase Mamava Lactation Suites," County Executive Chris Abele said. "The suites offer traveling moms the option of a clean, private, and pleasant space to pump/nurse before boarding a flight to any of Mitchell Airport’s 37 nonstop destinations."

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Chick-fil-A proposed for Drexel Town Square approved

March 18, 2015 9:40 a.m. |

A Chick-fil-A restaurant proposed for the Drexel Town Square mixed-use development in Oak Creek won unanimous Common Council approval Tuesday night, one month after the Plan Commission narrowly recommended rejecting it.
The council approved a conditional use permit for the restaurant, but also referred the proposal back to the Plan Commission to create some restrictions, according to an article by reporter Heather Ronaldson. The council is to consider those additional condtions at its April 6 meeting.
The commission voted 4-3 in February to deny the conditional use permit, with some members saying Chick-fil-A wouldn't reflect what they consider Drexel Town Square's upscale nature.
The development so far includes a Meijer supermarket-discount store and Water Street Brewery brew pub under construction, with plans for a Sheraton Four Points Hotel, higher-end apartments, a Froedtert Health facility and additional commercial space. It also will have the new City Hall and Oak Creek Public Library.
"Spokesmen for Chick-fil-A defended the restaurant as a high-end tenant, while council members supported the 'buzz' it would generate for the community," reported
Meanwhile, the Atlanta-based restaurant chain's proposed location in front of the Racine Centre shopping center, 5315 Washington Ave., Mount Pleasant, was approved at Wednesday's Plan Commission meeting.
That location is near the Chick-fil-A inside Regency Mall, 5802 Durand Ave., Racine, which would apparently close.
Chick-fil-A's expansion, including its new restaurants in the Milwaukee area, have been tied to stand-alone locations.
The chain in September opened two restaurants, at 5351 S. 76th St., Greendale, and 12625 W. Capitol Drive, Brookfield, with the latter setting a record for Chick-fil-A grand opening sales.


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