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Teacher resignations could be larger problem than expected in Greenfield

July 24, 2012 9:26 a.m. | Greenfield School Board member Cathy Walsh on Monday said that 16 teachers either resigned or retired at the end of the school year, which she said presents a more serious picture of staff turnover than the School Board was led to believe.

The administration had provided the board with resignation and retirement numbers for all staff. Those numbers showed no inordinate exodus. But Walsh said she separated teachers out and found 16 had left, compared with the six or seven that she found had been the more normal turnover over the last nine years.

Superintendent Conrad Farner said that he had not broken the numbers down by employee groups, but would do so and report back to the School Board.

Even if the 16 is confirmed, Board member Pam Sierzchulski urged the board not to jump to conclusions. The dramatic changes brought about by Act 10 to public employee pay and benefits caused last year to be a "bump" year. She urged waiting to see what the next year brings.

While board member Russell Spahn agreed that Act 10 could have triggered more retirements, it doesn't explain the resignations.

Answers and winners of the Suburban Selfies contest revealed!

Jan. 29, 2015 1:45 p.m. | We here at Community Newspapers and Lake Country Publications would like to extend a big thank you to everyone who participated in our second annual Suburban Selfies contest. To those who clambered over the snowpiles and toughed out the icy winter winds to get in prime selfie snapping position, we salute you.

And what better thanks could we give than a free dinner?

These three won the east contest (Milwaukee suburbs):

Holly LaVesser of New Berlin takes home the grand prize of a $200 gift card to Bartolotta restaurants.

» Read Full Article

West Allis-West Milwaukee School Board saves $1.7 million

Jan. 28, 2015 3:55 p.m. | The West Allis-West Milwaukee School Board refinanced some remaining debt last week, saving taxpayers an estimated $1.7 million that will not have to come from future property tax levies.

That savings will occur over the life of the bonds, with one expiring in five years and the other in 11 years.

"Anytime we can directly save money for the district and reduce the tax levy tied to debt for our taxpayers, along with consolidating debt without impacting student instruction, it's a very good thing," said Paul Strobel, interim superintendent, in a news release about the savings.

Jerry Dudzik, vice president of the district's independent financial adviser, Springsted Inc., reported tremendous interest by investors in the district's bonds.

The refinancing process included the district going through the bond rating process. The end result was an A1 rating by Moody's Investors Service, an independent provider of credit ratings. The A1 rating put West Allis-West Milwaukee in a position to dramatically reduce interest costs, Andrew Chromy, director of business services, said. The rating also reflects a solid credit profile, he said.

A West Allis-West Milwaukee District administrator might be laid off

Jan. 27, 2015 3:45 p.m. | An administrator in the West Allis-West Milwaukee School District will get a preliminary lay-off notice, the School Board decided Monday.

The board declined to give the name of the administrator or comment on the reason for the notice. Similarly, officials declined to say whether the administrator is at one of the schools or at the central office.

At the end of February, the School Board will decide whether to issue a final layoff notice.

State law requires preliminary layoff notices be given even before school districts know if the layoffs will be necessary in order to give employees more time to find other jobs.

West Allis-West Milwaukee School Board approves selling Roosevelt

Jan. 27, 2015 1:10 p.m. | West Allis — After many years on the market, the vacant Roosevelt Elementary School, 932 S. 60th St., could be on the verge of selling.

The West Allis-West Milwaukee School Board on Monday approved an agreement to sell the former school to Cardinal Capital Management Inc.

It wants to raze the 1921 building and create programming and office space for the Milwaukee Center for Independence and its division, TLS Behavioral Health. The center provides an assortment of mental health, case management, primary care and pharmacy services.

Cardinal also wants to build market-rate multi-family housing and create a park on the property.

The actual closing is not expected until mid- or late-May. The sale price is $800,000 which would be used to bolster the district reserves to bring its total more into line with school board policy.

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Denny's coming to Highway 100 in Greenfield

Jan. 21, 2015 12:14 p.m. | Greenfield — A Denny's restaurant will be coming to Highway 100, as the Greenfield Common Council last week reversed its previous vote to deny a special use permit.

What turned the tide for her, said Alderwoman Shirley Saryan who voted against it originally but moved for restaurant approval Tuesday, was that the council received a better explanation of why the restaurant is asking to stay open 24 hours on holidays in addition to the 24-hours on Fridays and Saturdays. A 24-hour restaurant operation with a home nearby was a factor in the original 3-2 vote against the permit. With more information, Tuesday's vote to approve was 4-1.

Suspected getaway driver in deadly robbery tells police being helpful 'in her nature'

Jan. 19, 2015 10:55 p.m. | A Milwaukee woman told police she agreed to be the getaway driver in a deadly Waukesha armed robbery because, "it was simply in her nature to help people," according to a criminal complaint filed Monday.

Jerica L. Cotton, 23, said she was being helpful to Kenneth Thomas, 19, and Darrin Malone, 28, when she drove them to the Citgo gas station at 1445 Whiterock Ave., where Thomas allegedly shot clerk Saeed Sharwani, 65, shortly before 11 p.m. Jan. 13, according to the complaint.

Thomas was charged Monday with first-degree intentional homicide, armed robbery and other counts. Cotton was charged with felony murder and armed robbery.

Malone, 28, who is considered armed and dangerous, was still at large Monday.

The three are suspected of a half-dozen armed robberies in Milwaukee and Waukesha counties, including those of a bank in Milwaukee and of a 7-Eleven store in the Town of Brookfield where multiple shots were fired.

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Whitnall heads to referendum on $29.4 million in facilities projects

Jan. 19, 2015 6:58 p.m. | Greenfield — The Whitnall School Board on Monday approved two referendum questions totaling $29.4 million for facilities needs.

The questions will go on the April 7 spring ballot.

The bulk of the $29.4 million would be an estimated $22.5 million for a new Hales Corners Elementary School to be built on the grounds of the current school.

One referendum question will ask voter support for borrowing up to $22.5 million for the new school.

The other will ask to borrow up to $6.9 million for Whitnall High School projects. They are renovating the swimming pool and locker rooms so that swimming meets could again be held at the school, air conditioning the gym and replacing exterior wall panels and some windows to complete energy efficiency projects at the school.

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2 arrested in fatal Waukesha Citgo robbery linked to violent spree

Jan. 16, 2015 5:35 p.m. | Waukesha police on Friday announced the arrests of two-thirds of a suspected violent trio believed responsible for the killing of a gas station clerk during a series of robberies in Milwaukee and Waukesha counties.

Kenneth Thomas, 19, and Jerica L. Cotton, 23, were arrested in connection with the robbery and shooting death of Saeed A. Sharwani, 65, shortly before 11 p.m. Tuesday at the Citgo gas station at 1445 Whiterock Ave., according to a news release from the Waukesha Police Department.

Thomas, who is suspected of having fired the shot that killed Sharwani, was arrested by West Allis police executing a search warrant for Milwaukee police.

Cotton is suspected of being the getaway driver in the robbery.

Authorities are still seeking Darrin Malone, 28, and believe the three are responsible for at least six robberies in West Allis, Milwaukee, the Town of Brookfield and Waukesha, including that of a bank in Milwaukee and a robbery in the Town of Brookfield Jan. 10 during which multiple shots were fired.

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Whitnall ready to go for $29.4 million facilities referendums

Jan. 15, 2015 12:40 p.m. | Greenfield — Two referendum questions totaling $29.4 million are poised to go onto the spring election ballot for the Whitnall School District.

The School Board on Monday reached a consensus to go forward with referendums to address three major facilities. The board will take a formal vote on Monday, Jan. 19, when it will approve the actual referendum wording.

The bulk of the $29.4 million will be $22.5 million for a new Hales Corners Elementary School planned for the current school grounds. One referendum question will be whether to build a new school.

The second question will be on whether to do the remaining $6.9 million in projects at Whitnall High School. One of those will bring the swimming pool up to current standards so that swim meets are held there again. The others are air conditioning the gym and replacing worn exterior curtain walls and some windows to keep cold air out to better control temperatures.

The owner of a home worth $100,000 will pay $185 more in property taxes per year, if both referendums are approved, a district financial consultant estimates. That increase will remain for 20 years.

» Read Full Article

Suburban Selfies contest extended through Jan. 25; two selfie solutions to get you started!

Jan. 15, 2015 9:30 a.m. | My Community Now and Lake Country Now are extending the second annual Suburban Selfies contest through Sunday, Jan. 25. Contest answers and winners will be announced Jan. 29.

Below, and in the above video, are two free riddle solutions to get you started!

Check out the contest at mycommunitynow.com/selfies.

Solution One:

Lake Country Now contest riddle: My body is silver but you can see through me. Waukesha's hometown boy was famous for playing me. (Location: Waukesha)

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Hotel, retail/office, residential project proposed at Greenfield former school

Jan. 14, 2015 10:50 a.m. | Greenfield — A plan for a hotel, stores, restaurants, offices and multifamily housing was unveiled last week before the Greenfield Plan Commission.

The $90-million to $100-million development is proposed for Layton Avenue between 84th and 92nd streets and would cover the entire area from Layton Avenue north to Interstate 894, a tract of about 42 acres.

The area includes the former Chapman School and a 10-acre tract of farmland beside it plus an entire neighborhood of homes basically along Layton Avenue and the parallel east-west street, Chapman Avenue, plus side streets. There are about 38 homes in the development area, but perhaps not all would have to be purchased, developer Scott Yauck, president of Cobalt Partners, said.

He is offering more than the market price for the homes with everyone offered $360,000 per acre.

His goal is to buy as many homes as he can and hold off development around any homeowners who don't currently want to sell, he said. That could prove tricky, observed Greenfield Mayor Michael Neitzke.

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West Allis man's gunshot death believed to be self-inflicted

Jan. 12, 2015 4:05 p.m. | A 34-year-old man in West Allis is believed to have died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, authorities said Monday.

Officers were called to the 1000 block of S. 110th St. about 10 a.m. Sunday for a report of a man with a gunshot wound, according to a police news release. The man was dead by the time officers arrived.

The initial investigation by West Allis police and the Milwaukee County medical examiner's office did not turn up any evidence of foul play or any other people who may have been involved.

Whitnall School District closes because of cold

Jan. 08, 2015 9:14 a.m. | Hales Corners — The Whitnall School District closed its schools Thursday, Jan. 8 due to cold temperatures.

Whitnall schools join others in Milwaukee County to close due to extreme drops in temperature.

The district has not yet said if school will resume Friday, Jan. 9.

Report: Nathan Hale High School again evacuated after copycat bomb threat

Jan. 07, 2015 2:32 p.m. |  WTMJ4 reported that Nathan Hale High School in West Allis was evacuated for the second day in a row after a copycat bomb threat this morning.

The school was evacuated yesterday after a similar bomb threat. Police did not find any explosives.

Race for West Allis-West Milwaukee School Board only local matchup

Jan. 07, 2015 12:31 p.m. | West Allis — Five candidates will vie for three seats on the West Allis-West Milwaukee School Board in the only local race in West Allis next April.

As of last week's filing deadline, challengers Wendy DuBois, 1326 S. 122nd St., and Stephanie Emons, 2054 S. 83rd St., had filed, along with the three incumbents Patricia Kerhin, 8711 W. Arthur Place, who is School Board president; Sue Sujecki, 12247 W. Verona Court; and Darlene Ziemendorf, 836 S. 91st St.

The spring election will be April 7.

School Board members serve three-year terms.

DuBois, a native of West Allis, said that with two children at Walker Elementary School and one at Frank Lloyd Wright Intermediate School she would like to be a voice for families with children.

» Read Full Article

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