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Falls' Festge cools hot-hitting Hale in GMC softball showdown, 4-0

April 27, 2012 9:34 p.m. | Menomonee Falls' senior softball pitcher Nikki Festge is a patient woman.

She's been on varsity for three years, but has been used primarily in reserve situations and last year, she was behind NOW All-Suburban selection Nicole Zywiec.

But Festge is now making the most of her opportunity in the spotlight, as she gave up just three hits with seven strikeouts as she led the Indians to a 4-0 victory over previously unbeaten West Allis Hale Friday night in a showdown for first place in the Greater Metro Conference.

"I'm feeling good about things," she said, after the Indians improved to 6-1 overall. "I felt confident going into this season because I knew I would have a good team behind me. We're very good at communicating to one another and everyone does a nice job doing their part."

Her coach Wendy Wolff, a former top-flight collegiate pitcher herself, agreed that Festge is indeed ready to help the Indians defend their GMC title.

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West Allis plan commission approves Shooters Shop expansion

April 26, 2012 11:10 a.m. | The West Allis Plan Commission has approved an expansion plan for The Shooters Shop that will include a new shooting range.

The expansion plan fits the current zoning for the property, said Steve Schaer, manager of zoning and planning for West Allis.

The Shooters Shop is planning a 4,400-square foot expansion that includes an additional handgun range at the business.

The expansion and new gun range are being planned to meet growing demand for shooting practice time among gun owners, Shooters Shop owner Kevin Nugent said this week.

Schaer said Plan Commission members had questions about sound deadening technology that will be used as part of the plan. Once those questions were addressed the plan was approved, Schaer said.

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Shooters Shop in West Allis plans to expand

April 25, 2012 12:10 p.m. | The Shooters Shop in West Allis is planning a 4,400-square foot expansion that includes an additional handgun range at the business, city planning documents and the store's owner said Wednesday.

The expansion and new gun range are being planned to meet growing demand for shooting practice time among gun owners, Shooters Shop owner Kevin Nugent said.

"Range traffic has been very busy," Nugent said.

Wisconsin on Friday issued its 100,000th concealed carry permit, hitting that milestone in less than six months. The state continues to receive hundreds of concealed carry permit applications each day, according to the attorney general's office.

The Shooters Shop will add the range as part of a project to build a retail space for MGS Group LLC, a concealed carry and personal defense training business, Nugent said.

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Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt coming to West Allis

April 25, 2012 11:02 a.m. | Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt plans to open an outlet in West Allis.

The restaurant, to be located at 10922 W. National Ave., would be the second in the Milwaukee area for the Oklahoma City-based franchise chain. Orange Leaf also has a store in Waukesha.

The West Allis location would be in a building that formerly housed an Enterprise car rental and, before that, a Taco Bell. 

Parent desires conflict with Whitnall plan, survey indicates

April 24, 2012 8:06 a.m. | The results of a parent survey show that their desires apparently conflict with the Whitnall School District's new plan for letting elementary children out of school early some days and having secondary students start late some days so that teachers have time to collaborate.

The results, presented Monday night to the Whitnall School Board, indicated that parents heavily favor having half days off of school for all children occasionally. The current plan is to let elementary children out early once a week and have secondary students come to school later twice a month.

But because of parents' objections to that plan which the School Board approved in January, the board last month decided to take a survey. The board will take the matter up at a future meeting. The plan as approved, however, is slated to go into effect this fall.

Wrong-way freeway driver pleads guilty

April 23, 2012 3:10 p.m. | A Greenfield woman arrested for driving the wrong way on a freeway pleaded guilty Monday to two charges related to the offense.

Paula O'Leary, 28, entered the pleas to amended charges of endangering safety with a dangerous weapon and disorderly conduct, misdemeanors. She is expected to also plead to a civil ticket for first offense drunken driving at her sentencing May 30.

According to a criminal complaint, a sheriff's deputy spotted O'Leary's red Nissan - with no headlights on - traveling westbound in the eastbound lanes of I-794 near James Lovell St. just before 2 a.m. on Dec. 27.

After blocking the Nissan, the deputy informed O'Leary she was driving in the wrong direction.

"I know," she replied, according to the complaint. "As soon as I got on here, I felt, like, so bad."

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West Allis man denied refund of concealed carry permit fee

April 23, 2012 8:00 a.m. | A West Allis man asked the state to reimburse him $60 he spent getting a concealed weapons permit, claiming it was unconstitutional to require such payment for the right to carry his gun.

James Pawlak sought the refund from the State of Wisconsin Claims Board, which held a hearing on the request last month but later denied it.

"The Board concludes there has been an insufficient showing of negligence on the part of the state, its officers, agents or employees and this claim is neither one for which the state is legally liable nor one which the state should assume and pay based on equitable principles," the board wrote.

Pawlak, 73, who blogs as Crusader Knight and writes many letters to the editor at the Journal Sentinel, claimed the $50 fee plus an estimated $10 for postage and other costs related to seeking the permit for the refund.

"They gave me a hearing, so I guess I can't complain," he said, though he called the proceeding "perfunctory."

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Metropolitan Cadillac in West Allis closes today

April 20, 2012 11:12 a.m. | Metropolitan Cadillac in West Allis will close today, owner Max Stephenson said.

The Boucher automotive group has bought Metropolitan's inventory and parts and hired most of its staff, including Stephenson, Boucher president Frank Boucher said. He said Stephenson will be general manager for Cadillac at Boucher Cadillac, Buick and GMC in Waukesha.

Most of the Metropolitan employees will work at that shop as well, with some going to other Boucher locations.

Boucher said he is not buying Metropolitan's real estate, 10221 W. Arthur Ave. Metropolitan, which dates to the 1950s, has been at the West Allis location since the early '80s.

Boucher said Stephenson "was the largest Cadillac dealer in Wisconsin for the last 10 years and one of the most successful Cadillac guys in the Chicago region, and we just felt that teaming up was a good opportunity for both of us."

Banquet hall denied - again

April 18, 2012 5:08 p.m. | Several neighbors of the Parkside Wedding Chapel, 9008 W. Forest Home Ave., Greenfield, attended Tuesday'sGreenfield Common Council meeting to make sure that "no" stayed "no" to the chapel's request to open a banquet room to serve its wedding clients.

The council had decided 4-1 against the request in February mainly because wedding parking already overflows onto the street. Allowing those cars to remain longer would just aggravate the situation in the neighborhood where there is a home on one side of the chapel and apartments on another.

So, the council voted 4-1 again Tuesday in its reconsideration.

Working against chapel owner Jeff Kohl was the council's expectation that he would meet with neighbors to try to make the proposal work. But several neighbors not only attended Tuesday's meeting but spoke against the request.

Pietrowski becomes Greenfield Common Council's president

April 18, 2012 2:16 p.m. | Alderman Tom Pietrowski was voted the new Greenfield Common Council president Tuesday.

Also on Tuesday, the three aldermen who ran unopposed in the April 3 election were sworn in for another three-year term. They were Karl Kastner in District 3, Pam Akers in District 4 and Shirley Saryan in District 5.

New Berlin ousts Wauwatosa to win Battle of the Burbs

April 13, 2012 8:37 a.m. | The voters in MyCommunityNOW's Battle of the Burbs contest have spoken and New Berlin has been tabbed the best place to live in the suburban Milwaukee area.

The second-seeded Waukesha-county suburb cruised past No. 1 Wauwatosa with 65 percent of the vote to 35 percent.

Congratulations to Mark Klug of Greendale, who was randomly chosen from all voters to receive a $100 gift card. Kudos are also in order for William Smith of Waukesha, who will receive a $50 gift card and Jennifer Phelps of New Berlin, who will receive a $25 gift card.

Thanks to all of our voters for taking part in the contest.

Waste-nots wanted at hazardous collection site

April 10, 2012 8:46 p.m. | The first mobile collection of household hazardous waste of the year will be at State Fair Park Friday and Saturday.

There will be no charge to visit and people don't even have to get out of their cars to dispose of such things as compact fluorescent light bulbs, motor oil and rechargeable batteries at the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District's household hazardous waste program.

The mobile collection will be at Gate 8, just off South 76th Street, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fridayand from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

A list of things that can and cannot be dropped off, along with permanent hazardous waste dropoff locations and hours, is available at mmsd.com/dukes.

West Allis police arrest suspects in tavern robberies

April 07, 2012 5:54 p.m. | West Allis police said Saturday they have arrested two people in relation to a series of tavern robberies. Police did not identify the two people but said they were arrested without incident and remain in custody.

Police said the case will be presented to the Milwaukee County District Attorney's office for formal charges in the middle of the week.

The robberies began on March 8 and all occurred between approximately 9 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., police said.

Germantown's Showalter named All-Suburban Boys Basketball Player of the Year

April 05, 2012 9:24 a.m. | Germantown senior Zak Showalter has been named the NOW All-Suburban Boys Basketball Player of the Year for the second consecutive season.

Showalter helped the Warhawks to a 28-0 mark and the WIAA Division 1 boys basketball championship last month.

He is joined on the NOW squad by teammate Luke Fischer and Steve Showalter, Zak's father and the co-coach of the year.

West Allis Central head coach David Mlachnik shares coach of the year honors.

Photo gallery: Zak Showalter through the years

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