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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.

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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.

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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.

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