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Whitnall to conduct communitywide survey

Feb. 26, 2013 3:14 p.m. | Probably next week, a communitywide survey aimed at exploring community priorities as they concern the Whitnall School District will begin.

The survey will be on the Whitnall School District website,, with the target audience including taxpayers, parents, teachers and students.

Among other things, survey that should take about five minutes to complete, will include questions about new initiatives in the schools.

The last time the district did such a survey was four years ago.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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Greenfield Plan Commission clears Chapman project, Meijer for hearings

Feb. 17, 2015 12:33 p.m. | A hotel/store/restaurant development and a Meijer superstore both proposed for Greenfield are now on their way to public hearings, following approvals by the Plan Commission.

The $90 million to $95 million hotel/store/restaurant development would be on the site of the former Chapman School and would raze an entire neighborhood along Layton Avenue between 84th and 92nd streets.

The residents who are now dealing with their fourth development proposal have been open to selling, said Scott Yauck, president of Cobalt Partners. As of this week, he had sales agreements with 36 or 37 of the homeowners, leaving only about three to go.

The Plan Commission also liked the planned improvements to break up the long facade on the Meijer's store proposed for 60th Street and Layton Avenue.

Public hearings are likely to be set for both for March or April.

With Butch's Old Casino downtown to close in March, Butch's Pub opens in West Allis

Feb. 13, 2015 11:32 a.m. | With a sale of the property in the works, Butch's Old Casino Steak House at 555 N. James Lovell St. is expected to close after service March 28.

Owner Butch Schettle said the pending sale is through Mid-America Real Estate, a commercial real estate brokerage, and the building is to be razed.

He speculated that the purchase is connected to the Marquette University-Milwaukee Bucks sports medicine and athletic center planned one block away, in the 700 and 800 blocks of W. Michigan Ave., perhaps for parking. The steakhouse, decorated with vintage slot machines and other antiques, is at the southwest corner of W. Michigan and N. James Lovell streets.

A Marquette spokesman declined to confirm or deny plans for the parcel.

"We will not disclose details of any specific property or partnership unless an agreement is finalized," Brian Dorrington said in an email.

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Federal official encourages more schools to join free meal program

Feb. 11, 2015 10:18 p.m. | Halfway into the first year of a program offering free school meals, federal officials are encouraging more Wisconsin districts to get involved.

The program, which provides free meals for all students at schools with enough students with low family income, debuted in 274 southeastern Wisconsin schools this fall, including 238 in Milwaukee.

Seven schools and 11 alternative programs in the Madison Metropolitan School District are also participating in the program.

Still, many more students could be served, said Kevin Concannon, undersecretary in the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

A total of 419 schools within 126 school districts meet the requirements for the Community Eligibility Program.

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West Allis-West Milwaukee superintendent candidate interviews delayed

Feb. 11, 2015 11:08 a.m. | The employee and public interviews of the three top candidates for superintendent of the West Allis-West Milwaukee School District were postponed Wednesday.

The public had been invited to interview the candidates on Saturday morning at the school administration building. Three employee groups were to interview the candidates on Friday.

The interviews were postponed because reference checks are taking longer than expected.

The interview opportunities will be rescheduled, Brian Vissers, district spokesman said.

Wisconsin high school under fire for assignment on political ideology

Feb. 10, 2015 1:05 p.m. | In politically polarized Wisconsin, the nature of a suburban high school government class assignment aimed at helping students figure out which beliefs align with certain political ideologies has come under fire.

A Nathan Hale High School mother took her concerns over a recent class assignment public after a teacher graded her son as incorrect for assessing the statement, "We should not help the poor, it's a waste of money," as fascist, instead of what the teacher marked as the correct answer: conservative/Republican.

The issue was brought to light by conservative news outlet and then Fox News. Both posted photos of the assignment from the mother, identified by EAG as Heather Bronnson.

Bronnson posted the EAGNews story on social media Monday, adding the comment, "No political party espouses not helping the poor, it's ridiculous. Why can't they just teach the basic political spectrum without lying?"

Bronnson's postings elsewhere on social media are critical of unions. Attempts to reach her for comment by phone and online were unsuccessful Tuesday.

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