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West Allis police seek clues in fatal assault case

Nov. 29, 2011 5:18 p.m. | West Allis police are investigating the death of a 57-year-old West Allis man who was beaten by four unknown men Nov. 20 and died of complications from his injuries Friday night.

Due to the severity of the attack and a lack of leads in the case, the West Allis Police Department is offering a reward of $2,000 for information leading to an arrest.

A passing motorist found Jeffrey P. Garnier unconscious and unresponsive in the road in the 9100 block of W. Lincoln Ave. near Cousin's Subs at 2:33 a.m. Nov. 20 and called police to report a possible head injury, according to a news release.

Police determined Garnier had been drinking. He was taken to Aurora West Allis Medical Center, where blood tests revealed he had a 0.194 blood-alcohol content and had suffered a stroke. He was later taken to Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center because of the nature of his head injuries.

Police were unable to determine how those injuries occurred until they examined surveillance video from a nearby tavern. The video showed that four unidentified men followed Garnier as he crossed Lincoln Ave. The men surrounded him and one of the men punched him in the head and he fell to the ground, West Allis police Lt. Chad Evenson said Tuesday. Three of the men immediately fled. The fourth briefly searched Garnier's pockets and then fled.

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Greenfield police keep busy with calls about recall disturbances

Nov. 29, 2011 10:02 a.m. | Greenfield police responded to several calls about recall canvassers being disturbed or disturbing the public in the past couple of weeks.

According to Greenfield police reports:

A caller reported the driver of a blue van purposely swerved toward a woman collecting signatures for the Recall Walker campaign in the 5000 block of West Layton Avenue. The van was last seen driving westbound on Layton Avenue.

Recall Walker canvassers in the 7500 block of West Layton Avenue called police to report being verbally abused by a woman prior to 4:20 p.m. Nov. 21. The woman had left by the time police arrived, but petitioners were advised to call back if she returned.

The owner of Layton Plaza, 7515 W. Layton Ave., called police after he received complaints about participants collecting signatures for the Recall Walker effort shortly before 5 p.m. Nov. 23. An officer spoke to two canvassers who were on the sidewalk and not obstructing businesses or traffic. Police then spoke to a manager of a business who was concerned about people parking in the lot, but no signs were posted limiting parking to customers only. The property owners were advised that the canvassers had the right to be there.

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Two Walmart sites sold in West Milwaukee, Greendale

Nov. 29, 2011 7:00 a.m. | Two sites for future Walmart stores, in West Milwaukee and Greendale, have been sold, according to records filed with the Milwaukee County Register of Deeds.

In West Milwaukee, a parcel that has a largely vacant strip shopping center, at 4140 W. Greenfield Ave., was sold to Walmart by the Israel family trust for $3.6 million.

The Greendale property, the former U.S. Bowling Congress headquarters, 5301 S. 76th St., was sold by that organization for $4 million.

In both communities, those buildings will be demolished to make way for combined supermarket-discount stores. 

Anczak's mother finds no happy ending in settlement in mental health case

Nov. 24, 2011 8:12 p.m. | A financial settlement has ended a five-year legal fight by the parents of a Greenfield woman who died after a stay at the Milwaukee County Mental Health Complex and helped spark a re-examination of the county's system of care for those with mental illness.

The outcome has left Myron and Jean Anczak deeply dissatisfied and conflicted, as their grief lingers over the 2006 death of their daughter. The $125,000 payment can't bring back Cindy Anczak, who died at age 33, or provide much consolation that other patients' care at the complex is any better, her mother said.

The money - or what's left for the Anczaks once their lawyer, an outstanding hospital bill for Cindy and other bills are paid - won't amount to a windfall. Attorney Robert "Rock" Pledl gets about $44,000 for his work on the lengthy case.

The family filed a legal claim against the county but never actually filed a lawsuit.

"It's not a happy ending," said Jean Anczak. "I don't think we are getting anywhere and doing any good for the people." She later amended that, saying that perhaps her daughter's death saved the life of another county patient who was found to have been suffering from lack of nourishment.

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Tell us what Brookfield’s best hotspots are

Nov. 23, 2011 2:01 p.m. | NOW readers: We need your help.

We want to build a list of your favorite places — maybe an eatery, a park, a theater — to go to in the town and the city. We’ll then put that list on the location-based service Foursquare, where you can follow and check off as you visit each place.
 
Here’s how it will work:
 
Visit the MyCommunityNOW Facebook page from Nov. 24 to Dec. 4 and comment on our wall or in response to our status update telling us your favorite places to go to in Brookfield. You can recommend one place or you can recommend 10; it’s your choice.
 
Then from Dec. 5 to 11, visit our Facebook page again and vote on your two favorite places of the recommendations we received. The top 10 responses will be included in our Best of Brookfield list.
 
So help us discover your favorite places.

NOW newspapers to be delivered Friday this week

Nov. 21, 2011 1:51 p.m. | All NOW newspapers will be delivered Friday, Nov. 25, due to this week's Thanksgiving holiday.

Looking to subscribe? We currently offer subscriptions to Brookfield-ElmGroveNOW, North ShoreNOW, WauwatosaNOW and WaukeshaNOW.

You can also purchase single issues of our Brookfield-Elm GroveNOW, WauwatosaNOW and WaukeshaNOW publications.

Thanks for your continued readership of our print and web editions and enjoy your holiday season!

Calling all ice carvers! West Allis competition afoot

Nov. 10, 2011 11:40 a.m. | The Downtown West Allis Business Improvement District is looking for ice carvers for its Dec. 3 Ice Block Sculpting Competition, which will be part of its annual Christmas on the Avenue.

Anyone at least 18 years old is eligible to participate on their own, in a team or with their families. Ice blocks will be located and carved at various locations along Greenfield Avenue. Judging and the awards ceremony will be at 4 p.m. in the City Hall courtyard.

The prize is $100 for each of the top three winners. To sign up or for more information, visit downtownwestallis.org.

Knights of Columbus takes steps to sell more of its land

Nov. 09, 2011 5:28 p.m. | The Knights of Columbus received a favorable recommendation from the Greenfield Plan Commission Tuesday night to split an acre off its five-acre property so that it can be sold.

The plan will likely go to the Greenfield Common Council Nov. 15.

The new proposed one-acre lot would be on the north side of the Knights of Columbus property, 3200 S. 103 St., and it exceeds the city's minimum size requirements for a new lot. Zoning there is commercial.

This is the second piece of land the Knights want to split off. In July, it received permission to split 1.9 acres off the southern part of the property. Nothing has been built there yet.

The Knights building and parking lot are in the middle of a long piece of property. Officials want to sell off the unused open areas on either end.

Animal center seeks approval for move

Nov. 09, 2011 5:24 p.m. | An organization that tries to find homes for cats and dogs in danger of being euthanized may move to Greenfield.

On Tuesday night, the Greenfield Plan Commission favorably recommended to the Common Council that the Milwaukee Animal Rescue Center be allowed to relocate to 5101 W. Loomis Road. A public hearing will likely be set for sometime in December.

Currently located on the upper level of Southridge Mall in Greendale, which it has called home for five years, the Milwaukee Animal Rescue Center has outgrown its space.

The center proposes to convert a garage into a community clubhouse for group meetings, educational seminars and weekend dog adoptions.

The center helps humane societies and animal control agencies facing euthanizing decisions by accepting animals for care and adoption. It doesn't accept owner-surrendered animals, strays, farm animals, wildlife or exotic animals.

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Vote on your favorite Wauwatosa places

Nov. 07, 2011 8:13 a.m. | We asked you to name your favorite places in Wauwatosa on our Facebook page.

You did.

We received 26 comments and 49 venue recommendations. But now it’s time to vote. We want to know the top 10 of your favorite places in Tosa.

So read the list of the 50 venues, head over to our Facebook page, and vote for your two favorites. (Any votes for venues not already suggested will not be counted.) Some venues are just outside of Tosa's borders, but are included anyway because of their proximity to the city.

Voting will take place through Sunday, Nov. 13. Once the top 10 places have been compiled, you’ll be able to find them as a Foursquare list.

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West Allis budget progresses without feedback

Nov. 02, 2011 12:20 p.m. | No one spoke Tuesday at the hearing on the proposed West Allis budget for 2012.

The proposed budget calls for a 1.53 percent property tax levy increase and a rate of $9.76 per $1,000 of assessed value, which is up 15 cents per $1,000 from this year. So the owner of a home assessed at $100,000 in both years would pay $15 more for city services.

Day-to-day spending would actually be slightly down with the proposed operating budget of $55.6 million, 0.74 percent or $414,895 less than this year.

But increases elsewhere push total spending up 1.15 percent to a proposed $118.2 million.

There would be no layoffs but the staff would be reduced by four people through attrition.

56th Street road work assessments OK'd

Nov. 02, 2011 12:10 p.m. | Despite eight residents saying that the stretch of 56th Street in front of their homes doesn't need reconstructing, the West Allis Common Council last night approved special assessments for the road.

The road itself, along the four blocks from National Avenue to Walker Street, was constructed in 1920 and is one of the oldest remaining in the city. The sewers and water main underneath are 100 years old. They will be dug up and replaced.

The residents might not think they are lucky, facing average assessments of $2,500, but they will be the first in the city to be offered free sump pumps along with the new road, courtesy of a grant to the city from the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage Commission. The MMSD gave the money because it wants people to disconnect their foundation drains from sanitary sewers. When it rains, storm water from the drains fills the sanitary sewers, often causing sewage backups into basements. Or the pressure is sometimes let off by pouring the rain-diluted raw sewage directly into Lake Michigan and other waterways.

The only problem is that the MMSD money will run out.

West Allis approves signing lease for connecting bike trail

Nov. 02, 2011 12:06 p.m. | The proposed cross town connector bike trail that would make it possible to bike all the way from Milwaukee's lakefront to Waukesha rolled a long way toward approval last night at the West Allis Common Council meeting.On a split vote, the council approved signing a lease agreement with We Energies for use of its right-of-way for the east-west bike trail.

Casting one of two "no" votes was Alderman Vincent Vitale, who said the city has not nailed down where it would get the $437,000 needed for the city's share of building the trail.

He said it is irresponsible to go ahead before funding is decided on, even though aldermen have a general idea of where the money might come from. Times are tough and those funds might be better spent elsewhere, he said.

Petition to amend Constitution moves forward in West Allis

Nov. 01, 2011 1:48 p.m. | A petition drive in West Allis to limit corporations paying for issue ads to affect political campaigns has reached its goal and organizers should be headed to the West Allis City Hall on Monday to turn in the signed petitions.

Even so, the petition drive will go on until then just to have a cushion in case some of the signatures are disallowed, said Mary Laan, Milwaukee, co-president of the southeastern Wisconsin Move to Amend group.

If enough signatures are confirmed, the constitutional amendment they are proposing would be on the ballot in West Allis in February if there is a primary or if not, it would be on the April ballot.

They started their petition drive Sept. 10 and had 60 days to gather 3,433 signatures. They had more than 3,800 as of Tuesday, Laan said.

The group, a local arm of the national group also named Move to Amend, wants to amend the United States Constitution to reverse a January 2010 United States Supreme Court ruling. The action resulted in dropping some regulations on corporate giving, Laan said.

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