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Looking for something to do this winter? Check out WhatNOW

Dec. 28, 2012 12:34 p.m. | Winter can feel pretty long in Wisconsin, especially once all the holiday hoopla is over.

In that spirit, MyCommunityNOW invites you to check out our special WhatNOW? section for some tips on how to stay busy this winter. You'll find a list of stories on interesting winter activities, a map of some great places to spend time this winter and more.

We also invite you to share your own ideas on what you like to do during the winter. Your comments may appear in a future issue of NOW newspapers.

WhatNOW? A guide to staying busy this winter.

Former deputy gets 40 years for producing child porn

Dec. 21, 2012 1:42 p.m. | A former Milwaukee County Sheriff's sergeant who drugged, molested and filmed young girls during camping trips to a trailer park in Campbellsport was sentenced Friday to 40 years in federal prison for producing child pornography.

Phillip Wentzel, 41, of West Allis must serve another 10 years of supervision if he makes it to the end of his prison term.

Wentzel, who also once served as spokesman for the sheriff's office, pleaded guilty in September to six counts of child pornography production, and to a seventh count this week, each involving different victims. He was charged in May.

Spectators packed the courtroom of U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman for Friday's sentencing.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Penelope Coblentz, who prosecuted the case, said two of the victims, now ages 15 and 16, spoke at the sentencing, identified only by the same initials as used in the indictment. One turned to Wentzel and said that after all he'd done to her, he still couldn't look at her, Coblentz said.

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Double B's BBQ & Burgers opens in former Bunkers in West Allis

Dec. 20, 2012 2:53 p.m. | You probably could follow your nose to Double B's BBQ & Burgers, the successor to Bunkers in West Allis. The restaurant and bar’s Missouri-built smoker for brisket, pork shoulder, chicken and ribs is at work on the patio out back, at 7420 W. Greenfield Ave.

It opened quietly a week ago; Bunkers closed in August. Owner Scott Bunker said the reopening was delayed when the smoker took 12 weeks to build instead of the expected four to six.

Bunker is managing the bar and leasing the kitchen to chef Paul Freeman, who oversees the smoking of the meats and makes several kinds of barbecue sauces that are served on the side.

Double B’s serves appetizers such as smoked wings ($6.95 for six) and black pepper wranglers ($6.95), which longtime guests will recognize as Bunkers’ rumaki, bacon-wrapped water chestnuts.

Entrées include ribs — baby back ($14.95 half rack, $21.95 full), spare ($13.95, $20.95) and beef ribs ($15.95, $22.95). They come with a choice of two sides and corn bread served with honey pecan butter.

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Social media users share images of today's snowfall

Dec. 18, 2012 1:48 p.m. | Snow. It's here, whether you're ready for it or not. And social media users shared a bunch of photos as it began to fall Tuesday.

Read the story and see the photos of snowfall today.

Visit Today's TMJ4 for more on today's snowfall and a winter storm watch later this week.

Greenfield school principal plans his retirement

Dec. 17, 2012 6:14 p.m. | Dan Carr, principal of Glenwood Elementary School in Greenfield, has submitted his request to retire after this year.

In his 14 years with the district, Carr has served as a counselor and administrator.

He took on the duties of principal with very late notice last year, according to school district officials, who also said Carr has been a calm, steadying influence for students, staff and parents.

NOW bloggers talk about Newtown shooting

Dec. 17, 2012 9:27 a.m. | There have been a lot of national gun-related shootings this year, but Friday's in Newtown, Conn., took the country by surprise perhaps more than any other.

And several of the NOW bloggers took up their virtual pens to share their thoughts on the latest tragedy.

  • Tom Ceparski of Oak Creek writes of the conflict he feels being a father of a young girl and a gun owner.
  • Tom Gaertner of Wauwatosa writes that he spent time cleaning his firearms after his hunting season.
  • Lester Schultz of the North Shore believes it is time to do something about gun control.
  • Karen Waldkirch of Wauwatosa says we need to look at ourselves in order to change the culture in America.
  • Robin Zdroik of Greenfield thinks we should look inward to do the best that we can.
  • Kevin Fischer of Franklin wonders what would happen if shooter Adam Lanza were alive.
  • TJ Meyers-Jansky of West Allis reminds us that the shooting occurred because of human choices.

Check out photos, videos of Candy Cane Lane

Dec. 17, 2012 9:24 a.m. | Now that Christmas is right around the corner, people are putting up lights and getting their homes decorated for the holidays.

That is the case every year in West Allis' Candy Cane Lane. 

Head over here to read our collection of social media photos and videos of Candy Cane Lane this year.

West Allis driver gets 18 months for fatal hit-and-run

Dec. 13, 2012 1:06 p.m. | A 32-year-old West Allis man was sentenced Thursday to 18 months in prison for driving over a woman in the street without stopping, killing her and indirectly leading to a second fatal crash that same night.

Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Ellen Brostrom on Thursday added five years of extended supervision to Jesse R. Steinmetz's prison term. While on supervision, Steinmetz must undergo drug and alcohol assessment, maintain absolute sobriety and perform 200 hours of community service that includes at least 10 public appearances to talk about drinking and driving.

Steinmetz pleaded no contest in October to homicide by negligent operation of a motor vehicle. He had originally been charged with hit-and-run causing death.

Mary Jane Moore, 45, was apparently lying in the street early on April 29 when police say she was run over by Steinmetz. Police followed a trail of oil from the scene to Steinmetz's house, where they knocked on his door for more than three hours before he came out. He told police he'd been to a bar that night and on the way home thought he'd hit a small animal in the 1500 block of S. 81st St.

Witnesses told police Moore had been arguing with someone inside Cap'n Nick's tavern shortly before Steinmetz passed by that location.

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Germantown, Hamilton the top-ranked teams in NOW's Roundball Rankings

Dec. 12, 2012 11:59 a.m. | The defending Division 1 state champion Germantown boys basketball team has won 32 games in a row and finds itself atop the MyCommunityNOW/Lake Country Roundball Rankings.

The Hamilton Chargers are the top-ranked girls team and are coming off a 64-10 victory over West Allis Central in the Greater Metro Conference opener.

In addition to the top five boys and girls teams in the area, Roundball Rankings includes a player of the week, poll, area scoring leaders and more.

West Allis police officer injured in arrest attempt

Dec. 10, 2012 10:42 a.m. | A West Allis police officer was injured early Monday when attempting to arrest a 30-year-old man outside a residence near the intersection of S. 105th St. and W. Rogers St.

The man punched the officer's face, and caused a laceration that required stitches as part of medical treatment, Acting Chief Charles Padgett said.

Police were called to the residence at 3:25 a.m. Monday on a report of a suspicious person outside the home, Padgett said.

Officers determined the man was wanted on a previous incident. He became combative and resisted arrest. Several officers were needed to subdue the suspect.

Two pedestrians struck by hit-run vehicle in West Allis

Dec. 09, 2012 11:54 a.m. | West Allis police are looking for the driver of a black or silver truck who struck two pedestrians early Sunday in the 7500 block of W. Becher St. and fled.

One of the two victims was taken to a hospital for treatment of what was described as nonlife-threatening injuries. The second victim declined medical treatment.

Police said the driver of the truck, believed to be a Ford or Dodge vehicle, was driving eastbound at 2:26 a.m. on W. Becher St. The driver hit the two while they were crossing the street.

After striking the two victims, police said the driver continued eastbound on Becher and possibly south on S. 75th St.

Police are asking anyone who has information about the incident to call the West Allis Police Department at (414) 302-8000.

Presentations on possible I-94 ramp closures in West Allis are today, Thursday

Dec. 05, 2012 3:10 p.m. | The Wisconsin Department of Transportation will hold two meetings this week on possible partial closures of Interstate 94 ramps at 70th and 60th Streets that serve the West Allis downtown and MATC.

One of the leading options for the ramps would result in westbound I-94 traffic being able to get off at 60th, but not at 70th. Eastbound freeway traffic is the opposite. It can get off at 70th but not at 60th.

Similar confusion would face those wanting to get onto the freeway.

The first meeting is from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday (today) at the Tommy Thompson Youth Center at Wisconsin State Fair Park, 640 S. 84th St., gate 5.

The second meeting is from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday at Marquette University High School, 3401 W. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee. Visitors should use the Henke Center entrance parking lot on Michigan Street.

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