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News & Notes: Feb. 21

Feb. 21, 2012

DOT plans open house on Greenfield Avenue work

West Allis - The Wisconsin Department of Transportation will hold a Feb. 29 open house concerning road work on Greenfield Avenue from 97th to 124th streets that will take place over the next two years within the city.

Members of the project team will be available to answer questions and concerns during the open house, which will be from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at Madison Elementary School, 1117 S. 104th St.

The project limits and construction schedule were recently adjusted to help aid in traffic flow during the Zoo interchange project.

The plan is for construction of the western section between 124th and 106th streets to start after the State Fair in August and finish at the end of November. The project will involve resurfacing the road, adding or extending left turn lanes, improving traffic signals, converting parking lanes to bicycle lanes and improving transit facilities. Greenfield Avenue will remain open in each direction, with lane restrictions during some stages of the project.

Construction for the eastern section between 106th to 97th streets will take place in 2013 and will involve reconstructing the Interstate 894 interchange and bridge. Additional work includes replacing the existing roadway, adding or extending turn lanes at 101st Street, improving traffic signals, converting parking lanes to bicycle lanes and improving transit facilities. During construction, the Greenfield Avenue bridge over I-894 and most ramps to and from I-894 will be closed.

Those unable to attend the open house may contact Jason Lynch, the DOT's project manager for both elements of the planned work, by phone at (414) 750-0538 or by email at jason.lynch@dot.wi.gov.

Area pub asks to serve drinks outdoors

Greenfield - Playoffs Pub, 8222 W. Forest Home Ave., would like to serve drinks outside on its patio and in its backyard where volleyball courts are.

The request received a favorable recommendation from the Plan Commission last week. A public hearing will likely be held on the request in four to six weeks at the Greenfield City Hall.

Because people live nearby, the outdoor closing time for serving would be 9 p.m. instead of the normal 10 p.m.

Car dealerships might change on 27th Street

Greenfield - The Greenfield Common Council on Wednesday was expected to approve a request by Tri-City Hyundai to do business at 6133 S. 27th St.

That would clear the way for Tri-City to negotiate for the sale of the land where the Braeger Mitsubishi Motors dealership is now.

Requesting the city's blessings for a possible change in dealership is Mike Juneau, owner of Arrow Hyundai in West Allis and a Buick GMC dealership in Brookfield. He had operated a Hyundai dealership in Greenfield but moved to West Allis about 10 years ago and said he has wanted to come back for some time.

Developer hopes schools will release land

West Allis - A developer is asking the West Allis-West Milwaukee School Board if it will release about 4.5 acres of vacant land to the New Berlin School District so that all of the apartment buildings it wants to construct can be in the same school district.

The Thomson Corp. plans to build four apartment buildings on the land located on the south side of National Avenue approximately between 132nd and 136th streets in the city of New Berlin.

One building would be in the New Berlin School District and the other three in the WA-WM district. Thomson officials want all four to be in the New Berlin district, as are the other 14 apartment buildings in the Stonegate Apartments complex.

Dean Frederick, Thomson vice president, told the West Allis School Board Business Services Committee on Monday night, said children living in those apartments there could study together and go to the library together if they are all in one school district. Families also could move within the complex without worrying about their children having to change schools, he said.

Taxes are the same for both school districts, Frederick said, and the only taxes West Allis would lose would be on vacant land.

The School Board will vote on the request Monday. The New Berlin School Board also would have to approve the transfer. That board will also meet Monday and may take up the request.

Survey gives glimpse of problem behavior

West Allis - The results of the sixth West Allis-West Milwaukee Youth Risk Behavior Survey gave the School Board information Monday night on everything from how safe kids feel in school to their obesity rate.

Among the findings were that 28 percent of high school boys reported that someone tried to hit, punch or kick them on school property in the past 12 months. Correspondingly, 15 percent said they were threatened or actually injured by someone with a weapon such as a gun, knife or club at school in the past year.

Overall, 45 percent of both boys and girls in high and intermediate schools strongly agreed that harassment and bullying are a problem at school.

But the survey of students in grades 8 through 12 had some positive news, too. One bright ray of hope was that the percentage of students who have tried cigarettes plummeted from 44 percent in 2004, the first year of the survey, to 26 percent in 2011.

The survey had a response rate that varied between 15 and 21 percent of students in each grade.

When is a story much more than a story?

Greenfield - Storyteller Patrick Ryan will work with Greenfield School District students and staff from Feb. 27 to March 2 demonstrating how storytelling and listening contribute to literacy, creative writing and literature.

With teachers, he will examine recent research into relationships between narrative, cognition and child development, as well as reports on effective storytelling work in education in the U.S., Canada, Britain and Ireland.

Ryan, who hails from England, will also be a participant in the Greenfield Education Foundation Family Fun Extravaganza.

Hale science team will compete at state

West Allis - The Nathan Hale High School science team won the Regional Science Olympiad recently and is now headed for the state competition, which will be held March 31 at the University of Wisconsin-Stout.

Team members who won the regional competition are Nick Yan and Jeremy Maciolek for chemistry lab; Katerina Javtic, Nick Yan and Katy Kostich for protein modeling; Rachel Martin, Katerina Jevitc and Dan Nelson for experimental design; and Rachel Martin and Becca Schmidt for tower.

Kids in 'higher' veggie education

Hales Corners - The Veggie U classroom garden program is under way at Edgerton Elementary School, 5145 S. 116th St., Hales Corners, in the Whitnall School District.

The unique program is designed to teach children about nutrition and the importance of making wise food choices, as well as introduce them to the concept of sustainable agriculture.

In addition to a hands-on, scientific approach to learning about plants and their components, the Veggie U curriculum incorporates extensive journal activities, mathematics, language arts and fine arts. The classroom lessons include studies of soil, composting, planting, nutrition and plant anatomy. The students also care for a worm farm, raise a mini "crop" and will celebrate the end of the program with a vegetable Feast Day.

Physical therapy clinic opens in city

West Allis - ATI Physical Therapy, the official physical therapy partner of the Milwaukee Bucks and Milwaukee Brewers, has opened a clinic at 10724 W. Oklahoma Ave., West Allis.

It features research-based services in physical therapy, work conditioning/hardening, and sports medicine. ATI now has 11 facilities in Wisconsin with locations in Greenfield, Kenosha, Mequon, Milwaukee's East Side and Third Ward, New Berlin, Racine, Sheboygan, Waukesha, Wauwatosa and now West Allis. Founded in 1996, ATI began with one clinic in Willowbrook, Ill., and has grown to more than 140 clinics in six states - Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania.

ATI has been named "Best Physical Therapy Practice in the Nation" by Advance Rehab Magazine.

Mayor, others to read to children

West Allis - On Feb. 29, Mary Queen of Saints Catholic Academy, 1435 S. 92nd St., West Allis, will celebrate Dr. Seuss' birthday with a reading incentive program. West Allis Mayor Dan Devine will come to read to kindergartners, Alderman Richard Narlock will read to third-graders, Dr. Kathleen Cepelka, superintendent of school for the Milwaukee archdiocese, will read to fourth-graders and Brenda White, archdiocese assistant superintendent of schools, also will read to children. Bishop Donald Hying who can't make it Feb. 29 will read on Feb. 27.

Dunkin Donuts leads off slate of public hearings

West Allis - A slew of public hearings will be held in West Allis on March 6, including one on a request for special-use permit for a Dunkin Donuts restaurant.

As proposed, the Dunkin Donuts would have a drive-thru and would be attached to Applebee's Restaurant, 2871 S. 108th St. The hearing will be at 7 p.m. at the West Allis City Hall, 7525 W. Greenfield Ave.

Other hearings that evening will be for: CVS Pharmacy in the Riverbend Shopping Center, 7552 W. Oklahoma Ave., to sell beer; two proposed auto repair businesses, one the All About Speed Collision Center proposed for 6320 W. Burnham St., and the other, Free Agents Customz and Auto Wirks proposed for 2074 S. 56th St.; JRS Jewelry Repair Shop, a retail jewelry store including second-hand sales, proposed for 2749 S. 108th St.; a branch office for the UW Credit Union, a financial institution with a drive-thru proposed for 2525 S. 108th St.; and a split-zoned property at 2525 S. 108th St., to be rezoned for the credit union from M-1 manufacturing to the neighboring C-4 regional commercial district.

Written comments also can be forwarded to the City Clerk's Office before the hearings.

New business to offer Reiki, health coaching

West Allis - A new business dubbed The Healing Spot will open March 1 at The Chiropractic and Wellness Group S.C., 10025 W. Greenfield Ave.

Owner Natalie Benoit will offer Reiki and health coaching.

"I have a passion for the healing arts, holistic nutrition, and the power of energy medicine," Benoit said in a prepared announcement of the opening. "I am thrilled to bring Reiki to West Allis."

Parents save time, schools save money

West Allis - Now parents in the West Allis/West Milwaukee School District are now able to pay school-related fees and buy products online.

The school district is partnering with e-Funds for Schools, an online payment system.

Parents can pay either by e-check or MasterCard or Visa cards through the school website, www.wawm.k12.wi.us using the access e-Funds for Schools Globe link on the right hand side of the home page.

Parents can pay electronically without fees , get low-balance reminders, make recurring payments, pay by debit or credit card or electronic check, and track purchases.

According to the district, e-Funds for Schools is a secure payment system that uses industry standard data encryption for account information. The district does not request or keep records of family checking or credit card account information.

School officials are looking forward to significant labor cost savings once the feature catches on by reducing manual processing of payments and handling fewer checks.

Ala Carte organizers already thinking June

West Allis - Volunteers, sponsors and vendors are already being sought for the fifth annual West Allis Ala Carte to be held June 3 from noon to 6 p.m. on Greenfield Avenue between 70th and 76th streets.

Last year's event sponsored by the Downtown West Allis Business Improvement District brought more than 6,000 visitors to the downtown. This year organizers hope to increase the number of vendors, entertainers and activities for all ages.

More information is available from Emily Eineichner at (414) 774-2676 or email promotions@ downtownwestallis.org.

Cousins Subs unwraps new store in Greenfield

Greenfield - A Cousins Subs shop has opened at the BP Station on 12345 W. Layton Ave.

The new restaurant, which seats 20, features a complete menu of deli-style subs, salads and soups.

The BP station is one of nine owned by David Schwartz and his family. It's the first to have a Cousins.

In a press release, Schwartz said: "Cousins Subs is a Wisconsin tradition and our family is proud to be a part of it."

Cousins Subs is based in Menomonee Falls.

New spelling program hits rules, common words

Greenfield - After piloting a new spelling program for more than a year in some classrooms at two elementary schools, the Whitnall School Board decided all the elementary schools should switch to it.

School officials have been looking for a program that is more cohesive in terms of high-frequency words and spelling rules, and this one fills the bill, said Wendy McQuistion, district learning coordinator. It also will make it easier for teachers to individualize for each student, and the program incorporates grammar and language usage, she said.

Teachers will be trained in the new program, which will be fully implemented this fall, she said.

Veterans services gets new home

West Allis - The Milwaukee County Veterans Service Office has relocated to 6419 W. Greenfield Ave.

The new location will continue to provide the same services, including The Marquette Volunteer Legal Clinic, DWD Office of Veterans Services and Bureau of Apprenticeships, Veterans Initiative for Paternity and Support, and Department of Human Services (Foodshare/Medical Assistance Applications) as well as a full range of assistance to veterans and their families in applying for state and federal veterans benefits.

Free parking is available both on and off the street, and the new location is wheelchair accessible. The new phone number for the office is (414) 266-1234.

The Veterans Service Office was previously housed at the Zablocki VA Medical Center, but that space is now needed by the Medical Center.

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