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Franklin girls basketball team wins Rathke Tourney for the first time

Dec. 29, 2012 6:03 p.m. | The word of the day for Franklin girls basketball coach Tony Kathrens leading into his team's appearance in the championship game of its own Rathke Memorial Tournament Saturday was really the only one that could be chosen just before the Sabers won the event for the first time in its five-year history with a 68-57 decision over Middleton.

"Coach told us it was 'Christine (Rathke)'," said senior forward and event MVP Cassidy Mihalko, "and it means a lot. She played here and put so much heart and effort into the program. Winning it like this means it all."

Rathke, the school's all-trime leading scorer and symbol of the program's powerful continuing surge from the mid-1990s on, had the tourney named in her honor after she died tragically about six years ago.

"And I see the Rathke family over there (in the far stands)," said Kathrens as he was giving out awards after the game, "and I continue to be inspired by their presence."

An inspiration that carried the Sabers through the powerful three-day grind of the tournament, one of the finest girls' hoops events in the state. They had to beat Oshkosh Lourdes (on Thursday) and Arrowhead (on Friday) in order to meet Middleton on Saturday.

» Read Full Article

Looking for something to do this winter? Check out WhatNOW

Dec. 28, 2012 12:34 p.m. | Winter can feel pretty long in Wisconsin, especially once all the holiday hoopla is over.

In that spirit, MyCommunityNOW invites you to check out our special WhatNOW? section for some tips on how to stay busy this winter. You'll find a list of stories on interesting winter activities, a map of some great places to spend time this winter and more.

We also invite you to share your own ideas on what you like to do during the winter. Your comments may appear in a future issue of NOW newspapers.

WhatNOW? A guide to staying busy this winter.

Franklin cougar mystery solved? Tracks ID'ed as coming from dog

Dec. 24, 2012 12:50 p.m. | Franklin - Mayor Tom Taylor told NOW Newspapers that tracks seen near the Oak Leaf Bike Trail last week, which at least one county parks worker believed belonged to a cougar, were identified as the prints of a large dog by a state wildlife specialist.

Local police departments have taken a handful of reports of large cat sightings in the area over the past several weeks.

Sightings have been reported in Franklin, Hales Corners and Oak Creek.

Oak Creek police search for two men in baby formula thefts

Dec. 24, 2012 11:22 a.m. | Oak Creek - Police are seeking two men who stole more than $500 worth of baby formula at Target, 8989 S. Howell Ave., on three separate occasions the week of Dec. 16.

According to the Oak Creek police report:

A loss prevention officer called police at 6:40 p.m. Dec. 20 to report store surveillance video had captured two men shoplifting large quantities of baby formula on three consecutive days.

According to store security, the men stole $144 worth of formula Dec. 17, $160 worth of formula Dec. 18 and $224 worth of formula Dec. 19. In each case the men concealed the formula under their coats and exited the store. The men wore the same coats on all occasions and drove away each time in a dark-colored pickup truck.

A license plate number for the truck was obtained when it was involved in an attempted formula theft at Pick 'n Save on South Howell Avenue on Dec. 19. Police obtained a picture of the registered owner through the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, and it matched one of the people captured on video surveillance at Target.

» Read Full Article

Off-duty security officer nabs shoplifter in Oak Creek

Dec. 24, 2012 10:42 a.m. | Oak Creek - An alert off-duty security officer thwarted a shoplifting attempt at Pick 'n Save, 2320 W. Ryan Road, at 12:30 p.m. Dec. 18, and detained one of the suspects until police arrived.

According to the Oak Creek police log:

An off-duty loss prevention contractor for Roundy's was shopping at the store when he saw two men loading a cart with baby formula. The officer recognized one of the men as a shoplifting suspect from recent store alerts and immediately told the store manager. When the manager attempted to stop the men at the store exit, one, a 51-year-old Milwaukee man, pushed the manager back and reached toward his waistband. Fearing the man had a weapon, the security officer wrestled him to the floor and held him until police arrived.

Pick 'n Save employees locked the front doors during the incident for the safety of incoming customers.

The second man involved in the theft attempt is described as a stocky black man wearing a multi-colored plaid shirt. He drove off in a silver or tan Buick Century.

» Read Full Article

Man stabbed to death in Cudahy, suspect arrested

Dec. 22, 2012 6:32 p.m. | A 25-year-man is in custody in connection with the stabbing death in Cudahy of a 52-year-old man early Saturday.

The victim was stabbed in the back in his apartment in the 3700 block of E. Layton Ave. about 1:30 a.m., Cudahy police said.

Less than an hour later, St. Francis police arrested the 25-year-suspect. Police say the victim and suspect are known to each other.

The victim was taken to Froedtert Hospital, where he died about 8:20 a.m.

Is a cougar roaming the Oak Leaf Trail? Latest sighting on Puetz Road

Dec. 19, 2012 8:49 a.m. | Franklin - A Milwaukee County parks employee who responded to the scene of yet another report of a cougar sighting on the Oak Leaf Trail last week said he discovered evidence that may link a big cat to the area.

According to the Franklin police log:

A Franklin resident reported that his wife saw a cougar near the Oak Leaf Bike Trail about 9:30 a.m. Friday. The caller's wife stated she saw a cougar walking south, crossing Puetz Road between 51st Street and the trail.

Although no cougar was found, a county parks employee checked the area and said he found what appeared to be cougar tracks and possible cougar scat (droppings) along the grass trail close to the river - but no tracks or other evidence was found along the hardened bike trail.

After talking with the witness, the parks employee verified the animal described by the woman was a cougar and that the tracks were found in the area where she allegedly saw the big cat.

» Read Full Article

Oak Creek police seek suspects in pull-tab machine thefts

Dec. 18, 2012 11:12 p.m. | Oak Creek - Police are seeking two men who stole pull tabs from machines, then cashed them in for money at local gas stations last week.

According to the Oak Creek police log:

Two men began playing the pull-tab machine at Mobil Gas, 9510 S. 27th St., about 4:45 p.m. Dec. 8. They continued to play the machine for about two hours, according to the station manager, and cashed in their winning pull tabs for $725.

The theft went unnoticed until the next day, when a gas station employee told the manager he thought it was strange when he found the machine was completely out of pull tabs and no money had been deposited into the machine.

According to the manager, the men apparently used some kind of device or fraudulent bill to obtain the pull tabs without payment being deposited into the machine. The men apparently emptied the machine of 929 pull-tabs, valued at $1 each, adding up to a total loss of $1,654 to Mobil Gas.

» Read Full Article

Early morning fire damages Oak Creek home

Dec. 18, 2012 11:06 p.m. | Oak Creek - Firefighters and police responded to a basement fire at a home in the 8500 block of South Parknoll Drive during the early morning hours Tuesday.

The homeowners called police at 3:23 a.m. after they woke up and smelled smoke inside their home, then heard the smoke detector sound a short time later. The couple located their two daughters, ages 8 and 6, and one of their two dogs and exited the residence.

Smoke was seen coming from the basement when emergency personnel arrived. After the Oak Creek Fire Department arrived, it was determined the was fire started by a pilot light in the water heater due to items in the basement.

The fire caused major damage to the water heater and basement. No official damage estimate was available at the time of the report.

No injuries were reported; however, paramedics attended to the children, who complained of slight smoke inhalation. The second dog later was found.

Social media users share images of today's snowfall

Dec. 18, 2012 1:48 p.m. | Snow. It's here, whether you're ready for it or not. And social media users shared a bunch of photos as it began to fall Tuesday.

Read the story and see the photos of snowfall today.

Visit Today's TMJ4 for more on today's snowfall and a winter storm watch later this week.

Pedestrian, 82, killed in intersection in Greendale

Dec. 18, 2012 8:22 a.m. | An 82-year-old woman was killed Monday evening after she was struck by a car at the intersection of W. Grange Ave. and S. 68th St., Greendale police said Tuesday.

Beatrice Salo of Greendale was struck by a 21-year-old delivery driver around 7:45 p.m. Video surveillance from a traffic camera at that intersection shows the woman in the crosswalk wearing dark clothing. Police said the driver had the green light, according to the driver and the traffic control signal for W. Grange Ave.

Drugs or alcohol do not appear to be a factor, and the driver is cooperating with the investigation, police said.

The investigation is ongoing. The Wisconsin State Patrol has been called in to produce an accident reconstruction.

NOW bloggers talk about Newtown shooting

Dec. 17, 2012 9:27 a.m. | There have been a lot of national gun-related shootings this year, but Friday's in Newtown, Conn., took the country by surprise perhaps more than any other.

And several of the NOW bloggers took up their virtual pens to share their thoughts on the latest tragedy.

  • Tom Ceparski of Oak Creek writes of the conflict he feels being a father of a young girl and a gun owner.
  • Tom Gaertner of Wauwatosa writes that he spent time cleaning his firearms after his hunting season.
  • Lester Schultz of the North Shore believes it is time to do something about gun control.
  • Karen Waldkirch of Wauwatosa says we need to look at ourselves in order to change the culture in America.
  • Robin Zdroik of Greenfield thinks we should look inward to do the best that we can.
  • Kevin Fischer of Franklin wonders what would happen if shooter Adam Lanza were alive.
  • TJ Meyers-Jansky of West Allis reminds us that the shooting occurred because of human choices.

One killed in fiery South Milwaukee crash

Dec. 13, 2012 10:34 a.m. | A person was killed in a car crash in South Milwaukee early Thursday morning near 9th and Edgewood avenues.

According to police, an officer was running a speed gun at 1:51 a.m. when a car passed clocked at 25 mph over the posted limit. Using squad lights and siren, the officer attempted to pull over the driver, who did not stop. The vehicle crashed into a tree. The car started on fire, which spread to a house. The residents in the house were not injured.

The South Milwaukee Police Department did not release any information about the victim. The Milwaukee County medical examiner's office confirmed it dispatched an investigator.

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.

» Read Full Article

Germantown, Hamilton the top-ranked teams in NOW's Roundball Rankings

Dec. 12, 2012 11:59 a.m. | The defending Division 1 state champion Germantown boys basketball team has won 32 games in a row and finds itself atop the MyCommunityNOW/Lake Country Roundball Rankings.

The Hamilton Chargers are the top-ranked girls team and are coming off a 64-10 victory over West Allis Central in the Greater Metro Conference opener.

In addition to the top five boys and girls teams in the area, Roundball Rankings includes a player of the week, poll, area scoring leaders and more.

Man arrested for blackmailing woman with nude photos

Dec. 12, 2012 8:20 a.m. | A 32-year-old Racine man was arrested Dec. 5 after he attempted to blackmail an Oak Creek woman with nude photos he received from her through a "personals" website.

According to the Oak Creek police:

At 6:40 p.m. Dec. 5, a 29-year-old Oak Creek woman called police to report a man she met on Craigslist personals was threatening to post nude photos of her online and share them with her family and co-workers unless she paid him money.

The woman admitted exchanging hundreds of emails with the suspect, and least one nude photo of her breasts and several other photos including pictures of her face, between Nov. 29 and Dec. 5. The victim told police the suspect began sending her numerous emails on the morning of Dec. 5 demanding she give him $2,000 in cash or he would tell her husband, post the photos online, place photos on her co-workers' cars and various other threats.

To catch the suspect, Oak Creek police placed a bait envelope at a predesignated location. A white Buick was later stopped in the parking lot at Woodman's, 8131 S. Howell Ave., with the bait envelope inside.

» Read Full Article

Oak Creek girls basketball team's fast start does in Franklin, 52-38

Dec. 11, 2012 9:58 p.m. | Franklin girls basketball coach Tony Kathrens had two defenses, one a zone, another a man, set up to battle Oak Creek's mighty 6-2 post players Stephanie Kostowicz and Tamya Sims Tuesday night in the local rivals' showdown.

What he did not have is a defense for junior guard Katie Finn's outside shooting, as Finn drained three first-quarter three-pointers, as the Knights took an 11-0 lead and then never looked back in gaining a critical leg up in the Southeast Conference with a 52-38 decision.

"I think if you look at the box we held both of them (Kostowicz and Sims) to well below their averages," said Kathrens. "Their bigs just did not hurt as much as we thought they might, but give credit to Finn. She hit her threes."

Finn, who finished with 18 points, noted that she has put in extra practice time on her three-point shooting.

"The shot felt good all night," she said. "I work hard on that every day after practice. It's been my thing since I've been little."

» Read Full Article

Woman threatened while walking through Oak Creek parking lot

Dec. 11, 2012 4:28 p.m. | A 60-year-old Milwaukee woman was allegedly threatened by an unknown man who asked her for money in the parking lot at Pick 'n Save, 6462 S. 27th St., Oak Creek, the morning of Dec. 7.

The victim told police she was walking across the parking lot when she was approached by a man who asked her for the time. The woman stated she pointed to the clock at Tri-City National Bank and told the man it was 6:30 a.m.

The man then asked the woman for some money. When she said no, the suspect pointed his finger into the left side of her ribs and told her he wanted to kill her. The victim ran into Pick 'n Save and the suspect ran toward the Hy-View Mobile Home Park, according to the police report.

The suspect is described as a male in his 20s. He was wearing a black hooded sweat shirt with the hood pulled over his head.

No money was taken from the victim and she was uninjured. Officers checked the area but were unable to locate the suspect.

Oak Creek burglar takes $2,000 of electronics, silverware

Dec. 11, 2012 4:24 p.m. | More than $2,000 of video gaming equipment, electronics, silverware and cutlery were stolen during a burglary at a residence in the 100 block of West Oak Leaf Drive, Oak Creek, on Dec. 8.

According to Oak Creek police, the unknown suspect(s) apparently entered the locked condominium through an unlocked sliding patio door on the front balcony sometime between 5:30 and 8:25 p.m. Saturday.

Some of the items stolen during the burglary were a PlayStation 3 and Halo 4 Xbox 360 gaming systems, four Xbox controllers, two hand-held PSP video systems, an iPad2, a silverware set and a set of cutlery. The victims also stated that approximately 20 to 30 Xbox games were also stolen.

Police are investigating but there are no suspects at this time.

Oak Creek police investigating suspicious phone call by fake detective

Dec. 11, 2012 4:16 p.m. | Police are investigating a phone call to an Oak Creek woman by someone who stated he was a detective with the Oak Creek Police Department.

According to the police:

A 25-year-old Oak Creek woman reported she was driving home from a movie when she received a call on her cellphone from an unknown number. The unidentified caller stated he was a detective from the Oak Creek Police Department and asked her what kind of car she drove. When the woman questioned the suspect about his identity, he stated he would send an officer to her house if she gave him her address.

The woman did not give the caller any information before hanging up, and told officers she did not recognize the voice or the number. She also stated she called the number back but no one answered. Officers are following up on the cell number.

Police investigating assault at Franklin's Park Motel

Dec. 11, 2012 10:40 a.m. | A 48-year-old woman called police after she was allegedly urinated on and beaten by a man she was drinking with at the Park Motel, 7273 S. 27th St., Franklin, on Dec. 8.

According to Franklin police:

Officers responded to the Park Motel shortly after 5 a.m. Dec. 9 after receiving a call from a woman who stated she had been beaten by a man she met on Saturday afternoon.

The victim told police she and the suspect, known only to her as "Mike something," decided to go to the Park Motel after they met at the Walmart bus stop on Saturday afternoon. While in a room they began drinking heavily, she said, and the suspect told her he wanted to have intercourse. After the victim refused to have sex the suspect urinated on her and then punched her in the right eye. She also told police the suspect took $120 from her before leaving the motel.

The victim suffered a black eye and a bruise on her right ring finger during the assault. Police noted she was still highly intoxicated when she was transported to the hospital at 6 a.m.

» Read Full Article

Residents push to restore wonder at South Milwaukee pond

Dec. 05, 2012 6:02 p.m. | South Milwaukee - What is the price for regaining some of the good old days?

Mary Nelson and a couple thousand supporters are asking Milwaukee County to spend several hundred thousand dollars or more on restoring one page of South Milwaukee's past.

The county should dredge several feet of accumulated muck from an old mill pond on Oak Creek to restore recreational opportunities for youth, particularly ice skating, said Nelson, a former alderman. Two long mounds of dirt rise high above the water like sandbars and cover one-fourth of the pond's surface along Oak Creek Parkway near Grant Park.

Nelson envisions a return to the 1960s and '70s, a time when her six children were growing up in South Milwaukee and skating on the pond formed by a historic county-owned dam. They warmed their toes at a fireplace inside the shelter house on the south bank of the pond.

The pond and dam, and winter activities, go back decades earlier in the city's history. A dam was built about one mile upstream of Lake Michigan around 1840 for a grist mill and it was rebuilt in the 1860s. The structure was reconstructed in the 1930s for recreation and aesthetics, state dam records show.

» Read Full Article

Brown Deer boys basketball team ralies for 85-70 victory over Greendale

Dec. 04, 2012 10:16 p.m. | It was a personal challenge from Brown Deer coach Kelly Appleby to senior forward Donte Harmon and to the Falcon team in general.

Their unbeaten start to the season was serious jeopardy Tuesday night in Greendale, as Panther guards Jordan Perez (17 points in the first half) and Nick Dalton (15 points in the same session) ran around and through the Falcon defense to the tune of a 31-17 second quarter outburst that put Brown Deer in a 49-36 hole at the break.

"We struggled big time in the first half defensively," said Appleby. "Perez is a very fine player, but we were letting him get to the basket much too easily. We had to go out there and make a bit more uncomfortable."

"We were going to put Donte (Harmon) on him in the first half, but he (Harmon) picked up two fouls, but once we did it in the second half, he (Harmon) was spectacular. We took away the main focus to their offense and then we found a little rhythm ourselves."

Indeed, Perez scored only one more point the rest of the game and Dalton was held scoreless in the second half as the Falcons turned up the team pressure, flipping the score with an impressive 28-7 third quarter run that eventually led to an 85-70 Brown Deer victory.

» Read Full Article

Greendale adopts new online reporting system for bullying

Dec. 04, 2012 3:16 p.m. | In the wake of a high-profile bomb threat at Greendale High School this fall that brought conversations about student bullying to the forefront, the Greendale School District is implementing a new online reporting system for problematic behavior.

The district announced last week that a new Safer Schools online reporting form is available from the district's high school and middle school websites. It can be used by parents, students and members of the community to report bullying, harassment or illegal activity to the administration, according to the district. Those who submit the forms can identify themselves or remain anonymous.

The Greendale Schools Climate and Culture Task Force, made up of school staff, community members and students, has been meeting to discuss bullying in schools and gaps in existing services.

Results from a recent school climate survey reveal data points that many parents and students probably already suspect about bullying: Most student respondents said verbal insults happen rarely in the classroom at GHS, but often over text messages or social media. Close to three-quarters of students do not believe specific students are continuously targeted; about three-quarters of the staff do believe specific students are continuously targeted.

The task force was formed after Nicholas Olsen, a Greendale High School student at the time, was arrested for writing a bomb threat in the boys' bathroom before homecoming weekend. Prosecutors recommended a lesser misdemeanor charge for Olson because of reports that he had endured prolonged bullying at the hands of his peers. Olson's plea date is scheduled for Jan. 2.

Community Watch

» Franklin girls basketball team wins Rathke Tourney for the first time 12/29

» Looking for something to do this winter? Check out WhatNOW 12/28

» Franklin cougar mystery solved? Tracks ID'ed as coming from dog 12/24

» Oak Creek police search for two men in baby formula thefts 12/24

» Off-duty security officer nabs shoplifter in Oak Creek 12/24

» Man stabbed to death in Cudahy, suspect arrested 12/22

» Is a cougar roaming the Oak Leaf Trail? Latest sighting on Puetz Road 12/19

» Oak Creek police seek suspects in pull-tab machine thefts 12/18

» Early morning fire damages Oak Creek home 12/18

» Social media users share images of today's snowfall 12/18

» Pedestrian, 82, killed in intersection in Greendale 12/18

» NOW bloggers talk about Newtown shooting 12/17

» One killed in fiery South Milwaukee crash Updated:  12/13

» Oak Creek police called after customers vie for spot at gas station pump 12/12

» Germantown, Hamilton the top-ranked teams in NOW's Roundball Rankings 12/12

» Man arrested for blackmailing woman with nude photos 12/12

» Oak Creek girls basketball team's fast start does in Franklin, 52-38 12/11

» Woman threatened while walking through Oak Creek parking lot 12/11

» Oak Creek burglar takes $2,000 of electronics, silverware 12/11

» Oak Creek police investigating suspicious phone call by fake detective 12/11

» Police investigating assault at Franklin's Park Motel 12/11

» Residents push to restore wonder at South Milwaukee pond 12/5

» Brown Deer boys basketball team ralies for 85-70 victory over Greendale 12/4

» Greendale adopts new online reporting system for bullying 12/4

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