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West Allis council already has plenty of candidates

Dec. 20, 2011 10:56 p.m. | There will be races in all five aldermanic districts in West Allis in the spring election.

All 10 incumbents on the West Allis Common Council had at least started the filing process for running for re-election as had seven challengers as of Tuesday afternoon.

However, Alderman Marty Weigel, District 2, was the only incumbent not to file a declaration of candidacy, although he did file a campaign registration statement. If he eventually decides not to run, he has until Friday to file a declaration of noncandidacy.

There still is plenty of time for candidates to file before the Jan. 3 filing deadline.

As of Tuesday afternoon, District 1 has incumbents Michael Czaplewski and Vincent Vitale and challenger Mark Nisenbaum; District 2 has incumbents Kurt Kopplin and Weigel against challengers Scott Bunker and Cathleen Probst; District 3 has incumbents Gary Barczak and Richard Narlock against Jon Keckeisen and Michael May; District 4 has incumbents Thomas Lajsic and Daniel Roadt and challenger Linda Dobrowski; District 5 has incumbents Rosalie Reinke and James Sengstock and challenger Richard Sujecki.

Milwaukee woman charged in assault over Walmart parking space

March 04, 2015 2:22 p.m. | A Milwaukee woman was so upset about losing a handicap parking space to a 71-year-old woman that she knocked the older woman to the ground, breaking a bone and forcing her to undergo a second hip replacement, according to a criminal complaint.

Kezia T. Perkins, 32, of Milwaukee was charged with aggravated battery in the Feb. 3 attack at the Walmart parking lot, 10600 W. Layton Ave. in Greenfield. Perkins, who is free on a signature bond, is expected in court for a preliminary hearing March 11.

Surveillance video shows Perkins was trying to park in a handicap space — despite not having a permit, or any disability — but struggled with the tight turn, the complaint says.

When Perkins reversed her car, the 71-year-old woman came from a different direction and parked in the same space. Perkins stormed across the parking lot and yelled at the woman, who remained in her car out of fear, according to the complaint.

Perkins went back to her car, but as the woman walked to the store entrance, Perkins confronted her and slammed her body into the woman, knocking her to the ground, the complaint says.

» Read Full Article

West Allis hosts National Ave. development plan open house

March 04, 2015 7:00 a.m. | A redevelopment plan for the W. National Ave. corridor in West Allis will be the subject of a public open house on Thursday.

The city is inviting local residents and business owners to the event, which runs from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the Constitution Room of the West Allis Public Library, 7421 W. National Ave.

Open house attendees will be asked to share feedback and insights regarding the city’s planning process, and issues for the National Ave. corridor. 

The city, working the Graef consulting firm, hopes to create a plan to attract more residents and businesses to that corridor. National Ave. is scheduled for a 2018 resconstruction between S. 70th St. and S. 76th St., and between S. 92nd St. and S. 95th St.

The proposed plan is to be submitted in July to the Plan Commission and Common Council for their review. 

West Allis putting foot down on snakes and rat breeding to feed them

March 03, 2015 3:30 p.m. | West Allis — A ban on keeping venomous snakes or large constricting snakes has already passed the West Allis Common Council, which is now poised to ban breeding rodents, as well, as food for snakes.

Health concerns are the reasons for the proposed breeding ban, said Alderwoman Cathleen Probst, a co-author of the ban.

The only known business that could be affected is Swords & Dreams Reptile Rescue, 7213 W. Greenfield Ave., in downtown West Allis.

Owner Tom McNeil said he once had 200 snakes in his store. But now he plans to retire and is whittling the stock down. He now has only about 25 snakes, he said. He has operated the reptile rescue for more than 10 years, approximately three of them in downtown West Allis.

As a rescue organization, McNeil said he has accepted venomous snakes from owners who wanted to get rid of them. And he has found homes for the snakes where they will not menace society, he said.

» Read Full Article

Greenfield School Board might use sale proceeds to possibly improve middle school

March 03, 2015 1:30 p.m. | With as much as $3.1 million potentially coming to the Greenfield School District from the sale of the former Chapman Elementary School, the school board is exploring how best to use the money.

The board's finance and facilities committee this week inspected the middle school, which school board President Cathy Walsh said had not received major attention as the elementary and the high school have.

The district might have to use the sale proceeds relatively immediately to keep the windfall from causing a drop in state aid. That was the case some time ago, and school officials are checking to see if the district still would have to use the money in the same year to avoid an aid penalty.

That is one of the reasons why the board is inspecting not only the middle school but other schools to assess their needs.

Only last month, the board approved selling the former Chapman School at 8500 W. Chapman Ave. for $2.5 million to $3.1 million, depending on when the sale actually closes. The sale would be contingent on city approval of rezoning to allow redevelopment and the buyer's ability to acquire other nearby properties.

West Allis approves moratorium on non-charitable secondhand stores

March 03, 2015 8:00 a.m. | West Allis — West Allis is trying to help its image by putting the brakes on new secondhand stores moving in.

"I don't want West Allis to be the haven of secondhand dealers," said Alderwoman Cathleen Probst, a sponsor of a measure imposing a moratorium on second-hand stores in West Allis.

The trigger for her was city approval of a secondhand store on 81st Street in her district when another secondhand store was only a block away, Probst said.

The cumulative effect is like having four bars at one corner, she said.

"It changes the perception of a neighborhood," Probst said.

» Read Full Article

Prosecutors announce charges in large south side cocaine, heroin ring

Feb. 26, 2015 12:40 p.m. | Prosecutors announced Thursday they have charged seven people with running a major drug distribution operation led by a Green Bay man out of a house on Milwaukee's south side and sourced from Chicago.

Investigators seized cocaine, heroin, four guns and more than $100,000 during searches in Milwaukee and Green Bay related to the case. One defendant claims to have sold more than 150 pounds of cocaine from February to November last year.

Francisco Chavez-Reynoso, 35, is charged with conspiracy to distribute heroin and cocaine.

A separate complaint charges six Milwaukee residents with a variety of offenses related to the operation, which was based out of a rented house at 1800 S. Layton Blvd. A woman who lived there told investigators the main supplier paid the rent, car costs and other bills for her in exchange for using the location as a stash house for drugs and money.

Police raided the location in November, but only arrested Chavez-Reynoso in Green Bay this month. According to the criminal complaint, he told investigators he first expected they would come looking for him but began to think he'd gotten away with the crimes after so much time went by.

» Read Full Article

West Allis-West Milwaukee School Board president condemns assignment

Feb. 24, 2015 2:50 p.m. | West Allis — A policy aimed at trying to head off high school assignments, such as the one characterizing Republicans as opposing programs for the poor because they are a waste of money, received its first reading Monday before the West Allis-West Milwaukee School Board.

The board was shocked at the assignment that was given in a Nathan Hale High School government class, said school board President Pat Kerhin.

"When we saw it, we found it to be totally inappropriate," she said after Monday's meeting. The assignment that resulted in the public outcry was dropped.

But it had been used in government classes for at least a decade, spokesman Brian Vissers said earlier this month when a parent brought the assignment containing the statement to light. The assignment was given to help students understand which beliefs are espoused by which political ideologies and to help them locate where they are on the continuum of beliefs.

The proposed policy would require activities such as this and certain student surveys to be reviewed by principals and curriculum staff before they are used in the classroom. Parents also would be notified in case they want their children to opt out.

» Read Full Article

Lottery won't be used to pick Nathan Hale High School freshmen

Feb. 24, 2015 8:05 a.m. | West Allis — A lottery will not be used to decide which students will attend Nathan Hale High School as freshmen this fall, the West Allis-West Milwaukee School Board decided Monday.

A lottery was one of the options considered to deal with the problem of far more eighth-graders asking to attend Hale than the school can hold. At 1,690 students, Hale is already over its 1,650 capacity, school officials said, while West Allis Central has plenty of room.

For the last 20 years or so, eighth-graders have been able to choose which high school they want to attend.

Instead of a lottery to determine which of them will actually attend Hale, the board wanted to review high school boundaries that were drawn years ago to see if they might still be viable enough to use as a guide.

Old boundaries

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West Allis superintendent finalists hail from Shorewood, Greendale, MPS

Feb. 23, 2015 11:27 a.m. | The finalists for West Allis-West Milwaukee superintendent include the superintendents at Shorewood and Greendale and a regional superintendent at Milwaukee Public Schools.

Shorewood Superintendent Marty Lexmond, Greendale Superintendent John Tharp and MPS Regional Superintendent Jesse Rodriguez met with parents and community members at the district Saturday, in a forum broadcast on Time Warner Cable Channel 13.

The West Allis-West Milwaukee School Board is scheduled to discuss the finalists tonight during a closed session meeting.

The board plans to name a new superintendent on or before April 1. That person will take over the district starting July 1. Former West Allis superintendent Kurt Wachholz abruptly retired at the end of July 2014 after several years of rapid -- and in some cases controversial -- changes in the district.

Sandra's on the Park to take Mia Famiglia's place in Hales Corners

Feb. 20, 2015 8:01 a.m. | With steaks, ribs, pasta and pizza at dinner, Sandra's on the Park will take over the former Mia Famiglia space at 10049 W. Forest Home Ave. in Hales Corners.

The restaurant would serve fish fry on Fridays and eventually will open for breakfast, said Sandra Van Remmen Prosser. During happy hour, guests will find complimentary cheese fondue at the bar.

Prosser, who said she long has wanted to open a place for dinner, also manages the Traditional Pancake House at 5121 S. 76th St. in Greendale; her father, Gene Van Remmen, is the owner of both restaurants.

Her father has been in the restaurant business 60 years, Prosser said, starting with the former Dutchland Dairy chain before moving on to Marc’s Big Boy, where he ultimately became vice president of operations. He owned Van Remmen’s restaurant in South Milwaukee and was a regional director for International House of Pancakes, taking over the Greendale restaurant himself in 1992 when IHOP left.

Mia Famiglia closed in January, with chef Tom White Jr. working to open a new restaurant in downtown Waukesha in the coming months.

» Read Full Article

Greenfield Plan Commission mixed on idea of Goodwill opening on S. 76th St.

Feb. 19, 2015 1:10 p.m. | Greenfield — Despite getting a mixed official reaction to the idea of a possible Goodwill store being located on 76th Street in Greenfield, Goodwill officials will try to move forward with the proposal.

The mixed reaction came last week from the Greenfield Plan Commission.

Mayor Michael Neitzke was dismayed, saying that 76th Street from Interstate 43/894 south to Southridge is the city's prime commercial corridor. The building Goodwill is considering is old. If a vacancy develops, it would be a good time for the city to apply pressure to the landlord to rejuvenate it and perhaps the surrounding area, he said.

Alderman Karl Kastner who also sits on the commission said no matter how the store would be dressed up, it's still a second-hand store.

Those more in favor pointed out that even if a major retailer wanted to move in, it would still need to deal with the owner as far as renovating the exterior.

» Read Full Article

Naked Furniture in Greenfield to close

Feb. 19, 2015 11:07 a.m. | Naked Furniture, a retail operation that dates back more than 30 years in Milwaukee, is closing.

The store, 4450 S. 108th St., Greenfield, remains profitable but has seen declining sales and is one of a dwindling number of outlets selling unfinished, solid wood furniture, owner Eric Lois said Thursday.

"We're the last store left like this in the entire Midwest," he said.

The shop sells chairs, tables and such that customers can finish themselves, or have it done to their taste at the store.

Lois and his wife, Tina, bought their business in October 2003. The shop once was part of a Chicago-based chain launched in 1972.

» Read Full Article

West Allis man arrested on seventh drunken driving charge

Feb. 18, 2015 3:29 p.m. | A 43-year-old West Allis man was arrested for his alleged seventh drunken driving offense.

According to the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office:

Just after midnight, a deputy stopped his vehicle after seeing it enter westbound Interstate 894 at Beloit Road at a very high rate of speed and change lanes between vehicles in what the deputy deemed to be a reckless manner.

The deputy stopped the vehicle at 98th Street and National Avenue in West Allis. He arrested the driver for drunken driving seventh offense, driving with a prohibited alcohol level and for driving after revocation. If convicted, the maximum sentence is 21 years in prison.

His six prior drunken driving convictions were in September 1989; May 1995; March 1998; May 2003; April 2007; and October 2010.

» Read Full Article

Two suburban superintendents in top 3 for West Allis-West Milwaukee

Feb. 18, 2015 2:51 p.m. | The West Allis-West Milwaukee School District has announced the three top candidates for superintendent.

They are John Tharp, superintendent of the Greendale Schools; Jesse Rodriguez, regional superintendent of the Milwaukee Public Schools; and Marty Lexmond, superintendent of the Shorewood schools.

The public is invited to meet the candidates and ask questions of them in an open forum setting from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Feb. 21. Each candidate will have one hour to interact with visitors. So, the first candidate will be available from 9 to 10 a.m., the second from 10 to 11 a.m. and the third from 11 a.m. to noon.

The interview opportunity will be at the District Offices, 1205 S. 70th St., on the sixth floor. Parking is available in the lot south of the building at 70th and Madison. Additional parking is available in the MATC lot #2 on the southwest corner of 70th and Washington streets.

The meetings also will be streamed live on Time Warner Cable, channel 13 in West Allis & West Milwaukee and over the Internet at http://livevideo.wawm.k12.wi.us/Cablecast/Public/Main.aspx?

» Read Full Article

Greenfield's Naked Furniture to close April 30

Feb. 17, 2015 3:30 p.m. | Greenfield — Naked Furniture, 4450 S. 108th St., Greenfield, a fixture of Highway 100 for 20 years, will close April 30.

The store is still profitable, but demand for quality wood furniture has been dwindling for several years, said Eric Lois, who has owned Naked Furniture with his wife, Tina, for the last dozen years.

With more and more furniture being made of particle board and even plastic, "Where's our industry going to be in 10 years?" he asked. But he said he knows the answer.

"Our industry is shrinking," he said.

Only 10 or 12 years ago, he dealt with 19 furniture manufacturers, he said. Now that's down the biggest six, he said.

» Read Full Article

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