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Domestic violence case against former Brewers pitcher dismissed

Nov. 29, 2012 4:52 p.m. | A prosecutor on Thursday dismissed domestic battery charges against former Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Francisco Rodriguez because the victim and a witness have both returned to Venezuela.

Rodriguez, 30, was charged last month after a September incident at his home in Wales involving his 23-year-old girlfriend.

The woman told Waukesha County Sheriff's deputies that Rodriguez had struck and injured her but  three days later said the argument was all her fault and recanted her story that Rodriguez had caused her injuries.

The case had been set for trial next week, but at a status hearing Thursday, Waukesha County  District Attorney Brad Schimel told the court the state could not meet its burden of  proof and the case was dismissed.

Schimel said later that he believes the girlfriend and a member of the household staff who was in Rodriguez's home the night of the incident are both in Venezuela. He said neither has responded to attempted contacts.

» Read Full Article

KM boys move to 3-0

Nov. 29, 2012 8:25 a.m. |  Kettle Moraine's boys basketball team improved to 3-0 on the season Wednesday night by scoring a come-from-behind 56-52 nonconference win over host West Bend East.

KM trailed 30-24 at halftime and then outscored East by a 32-22 margin in the final two periods.

Paul Miller led the Lasers wih 16 points and Mike Ottusch and Mitchell Oleson added 14 tallies apiece. Dakota Perron added 8 points for the winners.

Pewaukee man charged in heroin overdose death

Nov. 28, 2012 4:40 p.m. | A 22-year-old Pewaukee man has been charged in the heroin overdose death of another man in May.

Colin D. Kincaid faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted of first-degree reckless homicide in the death of Hao Wang, 21.

According to a criminal complaint released Wednesday by the Waukesha County district attorney's office:

Wang was found dead May 16 in an apartment in the 1300 block of Sunnyridge Road in Pewaukee. Wang's roommate told police they had both come home from work at Asiana restaurant the night before, drank some beer and snorted some powdery substance that Wang had with him. Wang used much more of the powder than the roommate, who found Wang dead the next morning.

Another co-worker told police Wang talked of his drug use and that his supplier was someone named Colin who lived in the same apartment complex.

» Read Full Article

Help local food pantries during Mukwonago Midnight Magic

Nov. 28, 2012 12:40 p.m. | The East Troy/Mukwonago area Business Breakfast Club (BBC) will participate in Christmas events during Midnight Magic on Saturday, Dec. 1. The East Troy members of the BBC will be headquartered at the Red Door Café/JT Interiors for Santa Comes to East Troy from 5 to 8 p.m. The Mukwonago festivities will be held at The House of Insurance (on the Triangle in Mukwonago) during Midnight Magic after the parade until 9 p.m. 

Bring a $5 minimum cash donation, or five paper goods or food items to either location for a free entry into two raffles during the event. The donations will be given to the East Troy Food Pantry and the Mukwonago Kitchen Kupboard Food Pantry. 

BBC meets from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. every Tuesday, at Zeneli’s Restaurant in Mukwonago. Its mission is to enable local business professionals, who provide exceptional and ethical services, to meet regularly in order to create consistent business growth by focusing on referrals and common promotional activities. Stop in at the Red Door Café or The House of Insurance on Dec. 1 to learn more about BBC.

Pridemore files for State Superintendent race

Nov. 28, 2012 11:57 a.m. | 99th Assemblyman Don Pridemore (R) has filed with the WI Government Accountablity Board for his bid as Superintendent of Public Instruction. 

He joins incumbent Tony Evers as the only two currently registered for the election, scheduled for April 2. Nomination papers must be turned in before Jan. 2. If more than two candidates file, a primary will be held in February.

Pridemore, 66, of Hartford, was first elected to the Assembly in 2004. He was unopposed when he was re-elected for a two-year term to the Assembly -- formerly in the 99th district - he will now serve in the newly created 22nd seat which covers a similar area including Towns of Erin, Richfield, Lisbon, Lannon, Menomonee Falls, Butler and parts of Milwaukee.

Pridemore would have to resign from his post in the State Assembly if he wins next year. 

Office party leaves the office behind

Nov. 28, 2012 9:04 a.m. | Office parties have been the subject of holiday jokes for years. They are the party equivalent of the fruitcake gift.

Part of the problem might be that office parties take place in … offices. And offices are places of work, not play.

If you take the office party away from the office, then the fun can begin.

Olympia Resort has done just that with its annual Little-Big Holiday Office Party.

Their motto is “Forget the little office party … go big and leave the planning to us.”  

» Read Full Article

Pewaukee cage teams win

Nov. 27, 2012 10:42 p.m. |  Pewaukee's two varsity basketball teams both scored victories Tuesday night.

The host PHS girls team edged Slinger, 44-42. Freshman Abby Gerrits led the Pirates with 16 points and junior Danielle Jasinski chipped in with 12 tallies. Sarah Caccese added 8 rebounds for the winners.

The visiting Pewaukee boys team downed Thomas More, 72-59. PHS never trailed in the final three periods.

Eric Lutzen scored 17 points to lead the Pirates and added 11 rebounds. Dave Girmscheid chipped in with 13 points and Jordan Hass had 9 points. 

AHS boys stop Wisco

Nov. 27, 2012 10:37 p.m. |  Arrowhead's boys basketball team played some tough in-your-face defense from start to finish Tuesday night and downed No. 7 ranked Wisconsin Lutheran in a nonconfernece home game, 52-44 at AHS.

Wisco only led in the  game twice for a total of 69 seconds.

Kyle Keranen scored 12 points in a row for the Warhawks in the second half and finished with a game-high 16 points. Jackson Abresch chipped in with 12 tallies and Ricky Finco had 10.

Generac looks to hire 100, job fair Nov. 28

Nov. 27, 2012 4:10 p.m. | Generac Power Systems is looking for qualified applicants to fill approximately 100 permanent manufacturing, professional and technical positions.

Qualified applicants can apply at a job fair the company is holding from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 28 at Generac’s Whitewater manufacturing facility, 757 N. Newcomb St.

At the job fair, prospective employees will meet with hiring managers about Generac’s exciting career opportunities. The company is recruiting general assembly workers, production supervisors, manufacturing engineers, industrial engineering technicians, CMM programmers, and quality advisors. All positions include a comprehensive benefits program.

Demand for generators continues to rise due to more frequent and longer lasting power outages across the United States. Superstorm Sandy and the subsequent winter storm that devastated the Northeast, for example, left more than 8 million without power—many for more than 10 days.

Applicants interested in working at Generac’s manufacturing facility in Jefferson, Wis., slated to open in early 2013, are encouraged to apply at the Whitewater job fair, as well.

» Read Full Article

Palmyra Eagle band holds Christmas concert

Nov. 27, 2012 10:33 a.m. | The Palmyra Eagle Community Band will hold its  2012 Christmas Concert on Sunday Dec. 2 at 7 p.m. at the Palmyra United Methodist Church, 122 N. 5th Street, Palmyra. 

The band will be playing a variety of classic and contemporary selections including “A Classic Christmas,” “Christmas at the Movies,” “A Touch of Holiday Flute,” with Deb Gilbert, Melody Brady and Caitlin Gamble on flute. Soloists featured will be Jim Neist on trumpet, playing “The Toy Trumpet” and Ellie Hawes on alto saxophone playing “White Christmas”.  

The band also will play “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” with narration by Gina Neist. There will be Christmas favorites such as, Jingle Bell Rock and Christmas Time is Here performed by the Kettle Moraine Blues.

The finale of the concert is a Palmyra Eagle Community Band tradition of an audience sing-along led by Yvonne Marie. The evening will be topped off with our complimentary Christmas Cookie Reception.

Winter Wonderland coming to Waterford this weekend

Nov. 27, 2012 10:18 a.m. |  The Village of Waterford will be decked out with boughs of holly and glistening with garland on Saturday, Dec. 1 beginning at 5:30 p.m. when the 14th annual Winter Wonderland Parade makes its way through the historic downtown. 

Hosted by Absolutely Waterford, a non-profit organization working to revitalize Main Street, the seasonal event will include more than 20 participants seeking to spread good cheer to more than 2,000 spectators who line the street. 

“Our winter parade is a holiday tradition that local families and those from surrounding areas have come to enjoy for more than a decade,” said Michelle Bores-Stockton, executive director of Absolutely Waterford. “We are pleased to be able to take on this event that promotes our charming downtown and the businesses that has kept it thriving.”

Through sponsorship from Runzhiemer International, and support from other local businesses, the parade will include a horse-drawn carriage, world-renowned trick-roper Charlie Keyes, who will lasso on his unicycle, bands, hot air balloon baskets and of course Santa and Mrs. Claus, among others. 

“This is a truly community-backed effort. The event wouldn’t be possible without the generosity and hard work from our sponsors and volunteers,” Bores-Stockton added. 

» Read Full Article

Enjoy holiday lights and help the food pantry

Nov. 27, 2012 9:49 a.m. |  

Tim and Lisa Traub, W309S8780 Green Acre Drive, Mukwonago, lit their annual Christmas light display on Thanksgiving and are collecting food items for the Mukwonago Food Pantry every night through New Year's night. Lights are on from 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. nightly.

The display is located about a mile from Mukwonago high School, just off Highways EE and I. Donations can be placed in the red bin located behind the food pantry sign.  

When is midnight magical?

Nov. 27, 2012 7:51 a.m. | Christmas magic will be sprinkled over Mukwonago on Saturday during the annual Midnight Magic event, which includes a parade, horse-drawn carriage rides, a crafter's marketplace, pictures with Santa, shopping opportunities, fireworks and more.

Watch for details in this week's Mukwonago Chief.

Lisbon approves new sheriff's contract

Nov. 26, 2012 8:36 p.m. |  Town of Lisbon - The Town Board has unanimously approved a new five year police service contract with the Waukesha County Sheriff's office that has regional implications.

Approval of the contract means that Lt. Torin Misko, the commander of the sheriff's sub station in Sussex, will have supervisory authority over police service contract deputies assigned to the villages of Sussex and Merton as well as the town.

Lisbon and the villages of Sussex and Merton will share in the cost of the sub station commander position which  is expected to be elevated from lieutenant to captain next summer.

Sussex village officials asked the position be elevated to captain in order to reduce turn over and provide the commander with greater authority.

Village officials were concerned that unless the position was upgraded to captain,   Lt. Misko would be assigned to different duties if  he was promoted next year.

» Read Full Article

KM hockey team wins

Nov. 24, 2012 9:20 a.m. |  The Kettle Moraine/Mukwonago/Oconomowoc boys hockey team opened the season Friday by downing Mosinee in the first round of their own Turkey Shootout at the Naga-Waukee Ice Arena by a 3-0 score.

Gerg Simandl fired in two goals for the Lasers and Zach Thoreson also scored. Luke Steidl, Austin Freeman and Matt Sherry collected assists.

AHS girls win cage opener

Nov. 24, 2012 9:18 a.m. |  Arrowhead's  girls basketball team, under first-year coach Rick Witte, won its first game of the season Friday at the Brookfield Central Thanksgiving Shootout by stopping Stevens Point, 56-49.

Sophomore Ally May led the Warhawks with 16 points and 8 rebounds. 

Junior Kelly Smith chipped in with 15 points and sophomore Jenna Goulet had 10 points.

Lasers roll over Pewaukee

Nov. 24, 2012 9:14 a.m. |  Kettle Moraine's boys baskebtall team improved to 2-0 Friday night by scoring a lopsided 70-49 victory over visiting Pewaukee in a nonconference game. Pewaukee fell to 1-2.

The Lasers started fast, leading 21-4 after the first period and 41-18 at halftime.

Junior Mitchell Oleson led KM with 22 points. Mike Ottusch added 15 tallies and Paul Miller had 14 points.

Pewaukee was led by Eric Lutzen with 15 points.

Black Friday madness hits early

Nov. 22, 2012 11:47 p.m. |  

Black Friday shoppers at Mukwonago Wal-Mart fill the aisles as they wait for items unwrapped for the 10 p.m. sales event on Thanksgiving eve. In less than 15 minutes 110, 32-inch high definition televisions were loaded into carts from lines of shoppers that wound through the frozen food and dairy aisles of the store.

Wal-Mart sales associates said the 8 p.m. sales event packed the toy aisles of the store. By 11 p.m. checkout lines clogged the front of the store, with some extending back into sales departments.

The Oconomowoc German Christmas Market

Nov. 21, 2012 12:16 p.m. | The Oconomowoc German Christmas Market kicks off Friday, Nov. 23 and runs through the weekend on the Village Green in the downtown area. Twenty five vendors will be on hand to recreate a  wonderful Europoean tradition. 

Father Christmas will be there  to  to take Christmas lists with a portion of the $5 sitting fee going to hurricane Sandy relief.

If you go

What: German Christmas Market, a mix of vendors, food, entertainment and family-friendly activities

When: 4 to 10 p.m. Friday, Nov. 23, noon to 10 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 24 and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 25

» Read Full Article

Village of Eagle hosts firearms safety class

Nov. 20, 2012 4:00 p.m. | The Village of Eagle Police Department will host a Firearms Safety Class from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 1. at the Eagle Fire Department, 126 E. Main St.  

This training will be conducted by Officer Ryan Brehmer, a State of Wisconsin certified firearms instructor. The four hour training course meets the requirements for those interested in applying for a concealed carry permit. 

Those interested in registering must contact the Eagle Police Department at (262) 594-2400 or Class size is limited to the first 25 registrants. Cost is $95. 

Delafield scraps street plan

Nov. 19, 2012 10:15 p.m. |  City of Delafield - Plans to widen and resurface Milwaukee Street from the downtown business district east to near the Nagawicka Lake shore have been scrapped by the Common Council.

Instead, the council has approved a compromise proposed by Ald. Jim Behrend that calls for resurfacing Milwaukee Street from Onieda Street, near the downtown business district, east to Oak Street, which is about one third of the original approximately one mile long project.

Behrend, who served as mayor in the 1980s, also suggested the original proposed price tag of $900,000 for the project be cut in half to $450,000.

He convinced his fellow council members that widening and repaving Milwaukee Street from Oak Street east to the intersection of Milwaukee and Main Street,  near the lake shore, could be postponed. However, sidewalks will be installed along Milwaukee Street east to Fireman's Park.

The original reconstruction proposal had encountered stiff oppostion from residents living along Milwaukee Street who objected to the number of trees that would be destroyed by widening the road.

» Read Full Article

Find items from around the world at Wales world market

Nov. 19, 2012 4:00 p.m. | All Saints Lutheran Church,  705 W. Tomlin Rd. (west on Hwy E south of Hwy 18 and 83) Wales, will hold a Christmas World Market on Sunday, Nov. 25 from 9 a.m. to noon. Beautiful fair trade items from around the world, including chocolate and coffee, will be available for sale.

I-94 at Highway 67 partially closed after crash this afternoon

Nov. 19, 2012 1:40 p.m. | The Wisconsin Department of Transportation has reported a traffic accident blocking the right lane of I-94 at Highway 67 in Oconomowoc. The DOT post at 1 p.m. anticipated traffic would be affected for about two hours.

The Waukesha County Sheriff's Department is assisting. More information will be posted on this website as it becomes available.

Waukesha businessman announces candidacy for 98th Assembly District

Nov. 19, 2012 7:42 a.m. | A Waukesha small-business owner, Adam Neylon (R), has announced his candidacy for the 98th Assembly District.

The district is expected to be vacated, as Rep. Paul Farrow earlier this month won the Republican primary for the 33rd State Senate District. He will run unopposed in a special election Dec. 4. The 33rd Senate seat is open, since Sen. Rich Zipperer stepped down to take a position in Gov. Scott Walker's administration.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to take my message to the people of the 98th Assembly District and discuss my vision for the future of Waukesha County,” said Neylon. “I believe in a common sense approach to government, and providing a plan to grow the economy, create jobs and improve education.”

The 98th Assembly District consists of Pewaukee, Sussex, the upper half of the City of Waukesha, and a small portion of Lisbon.

Neylon is the owner and president of the Neylon Group, a commercial window cleaning company in the City of Waukesha. He has five years of legislative experience working for Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner and Rep. Bill Kramer. During the 2010 election he served as the Waukesha County field director for the Republican Party of Wisconsin. He has been a member of the Republican Party of Waukesha County for the past six years, and previously served on the Executive Board.

Five injured in two-car crash in Lisbon

Nov. 19, 2012 7:31 a.m. | A 6-year-old Oconomowoc girl was taken to Children’s Hospital by Flight for Life after a two-car crash at 6:13 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 18. Four other people were also injured in the crash, including three children.
According to the Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department, a vehicle driving east on County Line Road slowed to make a left turn onto Briar Ridge Lane in the Town of Lisbon. That vehicle was struck from behind by a second vehicle, also eastbound on County Line Road.
The male driver, of the first vehicle – a 43-year-old Colgate man – was uninjured. His 10-year-old and 12-year-old sons were taken by ambulance to Children’s Hospital with minor injuries, according to the Sheriff’s Department.
The 26-year-old female driver of the second vehicle was taken by ambulance to Froedtert Hospital. Her 4-year-old son was taken by ambulance to Children’s Hospital. Her 6-year-old daughter was taken to the hospital by helicopter.
Further details were not available. The Sheriff’s Department is investigating the incident.

Fleece sorting, holiday container garden ideas at Sunday's Oconomowoc Winter Farmers Market

Nov. 18, 2012 9:39 p.m. | The Oconomowoc Winter Farmers Market continues on Sunday as it presents its first Ask the Expert Vendor program on Sunday as Georgia Meyer of Silver Creek Alpacas holds an alpaca fleece sorting demonstration. Meyer is currently studying to be a certified fleece sorter, something that less than a dozen people in the United States are certified to do.
Meyer’s demonstration will be held from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. at her booth in the greenhouses.
Following the demonstration, Oconomowoc Landscape Supply & Garden Center staff will demonstrate, “How to Create a Festive Container Garden,” from 11:30 to 12:30 p.m.
The indoor winter farmers market is free and open to the public. The market runs from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. inside the Oconomowoc Landscape Supply and Garden Center (OLSGC) greenhouses, N68 W37850 Highway K.
Terry Van Lare, owner of OLSGC said he’s happy to host the Oconomowoc Winter Farmers’ Market, “The greenhouses are the perfect place for this twice monthly event, when the temperatures drop below zero our greenhouses allow the sunshine in, while keeping the cold out.”
Van Lare further explains, “We have received so many inquiries on whether we be hosting the market again this year. People really want it and obviously by the traffic through our greenhouses, they support it.”
Lisa Geason-Bauer, Greener Oconomowoc Winter Farmers’ Market Director and Co-Chair of the Oconomowoc Winter Farmers’ Market planning committee is very excited about the focus of the programming for the 2012-13 season of the market. Geason-Bauer explains, “The Oconomowoc Winter Farmers’ Market will continue to offer a free wholesome gathering place for people of all ages and families during the winter months. This years educational programs will be focused around the topic of sustainable living and lifestyles.”
The public and community are invited to purchase locally grown and produced products ranging from artisan breads, toffee, eggs, cheese, beef, lamb, dips, sauces, vegetables, crackers, granola, fudge sauce, and more. Additions to the 2012-13-winter farmer market include more producers and a larger amount of seasonally grown produce such as micro greens, garlic and mushrooms. New products include raw honey, pickled asparagus, belly beans, jams and more.
For more information about the Oconomowoc Winter Farmers Market, call (26) 567-2666. For a complete list of all producers and market products go to .

Man suspected of impersonating photojournalist is arrested, charged

Nov. 16, 2012 8:54 p.m. | For more than 40 years, Gary Medrow has wielded a telephone the way a check forger wields a pen.

Except instead of faking signatures for financial gain, Medrow has used the phone as a disguise to impersonate people in officialdom - from police officers to accident investigators - to indulge his favorite fetish: persuading complete strangers to carry each other around.

The latest persona adopted by the 68-year-old serial impostor, according to a criminal complaint, is that of a Journal Sentinel photojournalist, calling two female high school athletes to set up photo shoots in which they would hold each other upon their shoulders.

Medrow, of Greenfield, was arrested Friday and charged in Ozaukee County Circuit Court with two counts each of telephone harassment and disorderly conduct in connection with the incident involving two Cedarburg High School girls.

Authorities in Franklin, Verona, Hartland and Mequon are investigating similar incidents, which involve female athletes who have had their pictures in the newspaper, Cedarburg police Officer Joe Biliskov said.

» Read Full Article

AHS wins state football championship

Nov. 16, 2012 8:25 p.m. |  Arrowhead's undefeated and No. 1 ranked football team capped off a perfect season (13-0) Friday night at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison by rolling over previously undefeated and No. 3 ranked Sun Prairie in the WIAA Division 1 state championship game, 35-14.

The score was 35-0 before the Cardinals scored twice in the final four minutes of the game.

Arrowhead led 35-0 at halftime as Ricky Finco, Brandon Kim, Steve Radeztsky, Brady Kelliher and Kenny Finco scored touchdowns for the Warhawks. At the intermission, the Warhawks had piled up 306 total yards compared to just 93 for Sun Prairie. The Cardinals had just 7 yards rushing on 14 carries in the opening half.

Jackson Abresch, Matt Seitz, Billy Hirschfeld, Logan Rupard, Charlie Reuteman and Brian Sesolak all made big plays in the opening half for the AHS defense.

It was the fifth state title in school history.

Arrowhead wins state football championship

Nov. 16, 2012 5:43 p.m. | The Arrowhead football team delivered a positively dominant performance in the WIAA Division 1 football title game Friday at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, topping Sun Prairie, 35-14.

Arrowhead took a 35-0 lead and compelled a running clock for all but the final 4:14 of the second half, winning its fifth gold ball and finishing the year 13-0. Sun Prairie scored a pair of late touchdowns but dropped to 12-1.

Quarterback Brady Kelliher ran for a touchdown and threw three others to Ricky Finco, Brandon Kim and Kenny Finco in the first half. The Warhawks piled up 220 passing yards in the process and came within four yards of the overall D1 title game record in the first half alone.

After a completion on the first series of the second half, AHS surpassed the previous passing mark of 224 yards, set by Marshfield in 2002. The Warhawks finished with 225 and 408 total yards. Steve Radeztsky also rushed for a score in the first half.

Arrowhead did not score fewer than 31 points in any game this year. The team now has state titles in 1993, 1994, 1996, 2007 and 2012, with five runner-up finishes, as well.

» Read Full Article

The Pub in Oconomowoc reopens

Nov. 16, 2012 3:24 p.m. | With repairs of smoke and water damage complete after a July fire in a neighboring building, the Pub at 114 N. Main St. in Oconomowoc is open for business again.

The Irish pub, owned by Aelred and Bernadette Gannon, began serving drinks last week. Tuesday, the kitchen returned to work.

The Pub is open Monday through Saturday; the bar opens at 4 p.m., and the kitchen is open 5 to 9 p.m. 

House fire appears under control

Nov. 16, 2012 9:49 a.m. | Firefighters quickly extinguished flames that shot through the roof of the house on fire on Lake Drive in Okauchee.

Crews now appear to be overhauling hot spots in the house fire. It is likely they will remain on scene for quite some time, but it appears as if the fire is well under control at this point.

Multiple departments fighting house fire

Nov. 16, 2012 9:39 a.m. | Heavy smoke is pouring from a home on fire on Lake Drive in Okauchee.

Firefighters are cutting ventilation holes in the roof, according to a witness. 

Everyone got out of the home with no problem, according to scanner traffic.

Firefighters on scene include personnel from the Summit, Oconomowoc and Okauchee fire departments as well as Lake Country Fire and Rescue.

House fire in Okauchee

Nov. 16, 2012 9:17 a.m. | Firefighters are responding to a report of a house fire on Lake Drive in Okauchee.

According to scanner traffic, the house is a two-story single-family home.

More details as they become available.

Hartland students head back to school after lockdown

Nov. 16, 2012 6:32 a.m. | Hartland - Police will be patrolling the neighborhood around a Hartland elementary school Friday as students head to class.

Officers armed with assault rifles searched a 3-acre wooded area around Hartland North Elementary on Thursday afternoon after two students reported seeing a man in a dark hooded sweat shirt holding a rifle-size weapon. Police Chief Robert Rosch says the two 7-year-old boys heard a loud bang and ran back into the school.

The building was locked down. Officers say they didn't find anything suspicious. Superintendent Glenn Schilling tells WISN-TV it's better to "err on the side of caution."

Yuletide Faire is a Medieval-themed celebration

Nov. 16, 2012 12:00 a.m. | The term “Yuletide” is associated with the Christmas season.

Yuletide, however, was actually a religious festival of Germanic peoples long before the celebration of Christmas. Early references are in Germanic month names.

Whatever its beginnings, Yuletide conjures up thoughts of colorful, long ago Medieval celebrations.

Prairie Hill Waldorf School is getting ready for its Medieval-themed holiday festival. The 25th Annual Yuletide Faire will be from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday at the school, N14 W29143 Silvernail Road, Pewaukee.

The family event includes unique handcrafted fashions, gifts and toys plus a silent auction. A whole host of characters will be delighting children throughout the day including the Pocket Lady, Pickle Man and Muffin Man. Kids will also enjoy strolling minstrels, marionette puppet play, magic show and children’s craft workshops.

» Read Full Article

Village residents trash garbage fee in Mukwonago

Nov. 15, 2012 10:27 p.m. |  After residents spoke out against shifting a $50 garbage and recycling fee to property owners in the Village of Mukwonago as an annual fee, the Village Board voted tonight to take money out of reserve funds and put the full garbage fee back on the tax roll.

A number of residents complained that the Village keeps hitting them with fees, which slowly and incrementally increase over time - a trend they did not like seeing.

"If the Village wanted to spend more money than allowed, the honest thing would have been to put it to referendum and ask taxpayers if they are willing to support that," said resident Mary Pires. 

Read the full story in the next Mukwonago Chief.

Students at Hartland North, St. Charles released after going on lockdown after a reported gunman

Nov. 15, 2012 5:13 p.m. | After going on lockdown this afternoon after a gunman was seen near Hartland North Elementary, Village of Hartland Police Chief Robert Rosch said all the school children have been safely released.

Rosch confirmed that at about 2:40 p.m. Thursday two children at Hartland North Elementary saw a man with a rifle and heard a loud bang in the woods that is just north of the school.

Rosch said after returning to the school the students were visibly upset and reported it to the school.

After talking with the students, Rosch said the school as well as St. Charles and the adjacent daycare were put on lockdown.

“Our main concern was the safety of the kids,” Rosch said on locking down the schools.

» Read Full Article

Press conference to be held on school lockdown

Nov. 15, 2012 4:20 p.m. | Lake Country Publications just received word that a press conference will soon be held at the Hartland Fire Department on the lockdown at Hartland North Elementary.

More details as they become available.

Hartland North on lockdown

Nov. 15, 2012 4:08 p.m. |  Hartland North Elementary School was put on a lockdown about one hour ago. Armed police are in the surrounding area.

There was a report of a man with a gun in the area.

OHS seniors sign D1 scholarships

Nov. 15, 2012 3:32 p.m. |  Three Oconomowoc High School seniors signed Division 1 athletic scholarships Thursday morning in the upper gymnasium in front of  a crowd of coaches, parents,  teachers, friends and fellow students.

Ian Gordon signed to swim with the University of Minnesota.

Softball players Renate Meckl and Delaney Osterday signed scholarships to to play fastpitch at the collegiate level. Meckl signed to play with the University of Tennessee-Martin and Osterday signed with Georgetown University.

Meckl is a catcher and Osterday is a pitcher.

$25,000 reward offered for arrest of Pewaukee bank robbery suspects

Nov. 15, 2012 3:06 p.m. | A $25,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of a man and a woman wanted in connection with the armed robbery of the PNC Bank at 395 Pewaukee Road in Pewaukee.

Although the robbery occurred June 28, the suspects remain at large and law enforcement officials believe they remain in the area, said Leonard Peace, a public affairs specialist with the FBI.

There's also been a lack of leads in the case, he said.

The female suspect is described as white, 5 feet 4 inches, with a thin build. She was wearing a dark ski mask, dark zip-up sweat shirt with a gray hoodie, black sneakers, dark pants, and gray and black gloves.

The second suspect is a black man who is between 5-9 and 6-2, with a thin build. He was wearing a gray zip-up hoodie, dark bandanna with white designs covering his face, dark pants, dark shoes and a carrying a blue duffel bag with red stripes.

» Read Full Article

Mukwonago High School among top 10 contest finalists

Nov. 15, 2012 2:44 p.m. |  Mukwonago High School is among the top 10 finalists in the 2012 Healthy School Makeover Contest. Finalists will be judged by a jury of the contest's participating organizations to determine the grand prize winner for the $45,000 school makeover.

Judging is based on the following categories: interest in improving health/wellness, problem and solution defined, implementation opportunity, innovation and coordinated approach to school health/wellness. Winners will be announce on Dec. 10.

Go here for more information on the contest.

Hamilton student pleads no contest to sex charges

Nov. 15, 2012 9:30 a.m. | Daniel Koepke, 17, a former student at Hamilton High School, pleaded no contest in Washington County Circuit Court this morning to causing a child to view sexually explicit content and incest. Charges of sexual abuse of a child and exposing genitals were dismissed.

He was charged in July in connection with an incident involving a 6-year-old relative he was babysitting. Click here for more.

Judge Andrew T. Gonring found Koepke guilty of the two charges. Koepke will be in court for his sentencing at 2:30 p.m. Jan. 24.

Koepke is now considered a convicted felon and could face up to $25,000 and 12 1/2 years in prison under the causing a child to view sexually explicit content charge, and $100,000 and 40 years in prison under the incest charge.

"The court recognizes that there is some disagreement regarding who initiated the removal of clothes," Gonring said, to audible gasps from members of the victim's family, who were in court.

» Read Full Article

Experience German Christmas traditions in Oconomowoc

Nov. 15, 2012 9:06 a.m. | Organizers of the city's inaugural German Christmas Market have been hard at work the past few weeks readying the downtown attraction that will be open Thanksgiving weekend.

A miniature village has been cropping up on the city's Village Green at Main Street and Wisconsin Avenue. The event will begin at 4 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 23.

Twenty-five wooden European chalets will house vendors, a concert stage will have musicians rotate to entertain market-goers and children can take photos with Father Christmas with a portion of the proceeds donated to Hurricane Sandy relief.

Outside the market, Wisconsin Avenue will shut down and a 50-foot movie screen will run a reel of holiday movies while the downtown merchants offer holiday specials, carriage rides, carolers and more.

For more information, visit

» Read Full Article

Arrowhead grad posts first blog from Africa

Nov. 14, 2012 2:38 p.m. |  In August, we wrote about Arrowhead High School's recent graduate Marisa Comeau-Kerege's big trip to Africa. 

Today, she posted her first blog titled "Adjustsments" from Senegal and she writes about her transition from Stanford University to Senegal's capitol, Dakar.

Comeau-Kerege is traveling through Global Citizen Year, a corps-type program that recruits and trains graduating seniors in service and leadership. 

In her blog, she writes, "This isn’t our 'perfect' little world anymore. This isn’t our culture. This isn’t what I expected. I realized quickly that I really hadn’t prepared myself for this year at all."

Still time to donate hats and mittens to Mukwonago Optimist Hat and Mitten tree

Nov. 14, 2012 12:00 p.m. | The Mukwonago Optimist Club will be sponsoring a “Hat and Mitten Tree” through Nov. 30. The Club is asking that community members donate hats and mittens that will be given to the local food pantries for distribution.

Area community banks will be the local drop off sites. Citizens Bank of Mukwonago, 301 N. Rochester St. and 827 S. Rochester St. (Riverview) and 1010 N. Rochester St. (Parkview) and 2109 Corporate Drive, Waukesha; PyraMax Bank, 405 River Crest Court; Waukesha State Bank, 1160 N Rochester St.; Johnson Bank, 1000 Fox St.; BMO Harris Bank, NA, 730 Fox St.; Associated Bank, 707 N. Rochester St.

Beware of ad solicitation

Nov. 14, 2012 11:40 a.m. | The Hartland Chamber of Commerce is cautioning businesses about a possible scam.

According to the chamber, a business identifying itself as SRI Inc. out of Delray Beach, Fla., is contacting businesses to sell advertising space on drug awareness folders. They are leading people to believe that the advertising space they purchase will benefit Arrowhead High School and that the folders will be distributed at the school.

The school has noted that they are not actively working with SRI Inc. and will not benefit from any of the advertising sales, according to the chamber.

Contact the chamber at (262) 367-7059 with any questions.

City of Oconomowoc has found three lost pets, is one yours?

Nov. 14, 2012 9:34 a.m. | The following animals were recently found in the City of Oconomowoc. A gray kitten with white paws and underbelly was found on River Bluff Circle; a black and white cat with a pink collar was found on Pleasant Street and a male dachshund was also found.
 Anyone interested in claiming or adopting one of these animals should call the City of Oconomowoc Police at (262) 567-4401.

Oconomowoc businesses, students deliver cartloads of food to pantry

Nov. 14, 2012 8:46 a.m. | City of Oconomowoc - People in Oconomowoc have come out in full force in recent weeks to help the Oconomowoc Area Food Pantry. The help couldn't have come at a better time as pantry organizers Bill and Lois Jackson said November is the food bank's busiest month, followed by December.

Recent drives that have helped stock pantry shelves include:

True Blue Day: Five carloads of nonperishable food items and $800 in cash was donated after the drive run by Snyder Insurance Agency that invites businesses to wear blue jeans to work in exchange for donations to the pantry.

Stuff the Bus: Meadow View students with the generosity of the community were able to donate 10 full shopping carts of food and $325.90 after their stuff the bus fundraiser.

Trick or Treat So Kids Can Eat: Oconomowoc High School’s chapter of the International Thespian Society collected 1,588 pounds of food .

» Read Full Article

Join the YMCA at Pabst Farms for their annual Turkey Trot

Nov. 13, 2012 4:00 p.m. | Join the YMCA at Pabst Farms for their fifth annual Turkey Trot beginning at 7:30 a.m. on Nov. 22.

The event is a non-competitive run along the Lake Country Trail. Everyone in the community is welcome to come out for this free event, intended to remind us to be thankful for health and wellness. Distances will be marked for any length run/walk from two miles up to 8+. Join us for a fun time of pre-feast calorie burning. New this year. Consider expressing the spirit of Thanksgiving by bringing a small donation for the Strong Kids Fund, and a canned good for the Oconomowoc Food Pantry.

For more information call (262) 567-7251. 

Taxes remain flat in Waukesha County budget

Nov. 13, 2012 3:40 p.m. | Waukesha - Waukesha County government will be able to balance its 2013 budget with a few dollars less from most homeowners.

The county will collect $512 in property taxes for 2013 - $2 less than this year's budget - on a home with a median value of $243,200. The taxes will help pay for a $273.77 million spending plan for 2013 adopted Tuesday by the County Board.

The total cost of county government drops 3.8% in 2013, fully $10.9 million less than this year, County Budget Manager Keith Swartz said.

Waukesha County spends less per resident than any other county in the state, Swartz said.

Much of the decline in next year's budget was due to spending less on major capital construction projects than this year.

» Read Full Article

Donate new toys to Aqua Fun Pools toy drive

Nov. 12, 2012 4:02 p.m. | Help Waukesha County families this Christmas by donating to a toy drive Nov. 11 through Dec. 9 at Aqua Fun Pools, S71 W23325 National Ave., Suite 8, Big Bend; or W232 N6052 Waukesha Ave., Sussex. Aqua Fun is teaming up with the Waukesha Salvation Army for the drive. 

Breakfast with Santa

Nov. 12, 2012 11:40 a.m. | You and your family are invited to enjoy breakfast with Santa!

Join Park Lawn School  PTO and Staff  on Saturday, Dec. 1 from 8 to 10:30 am at the cafeteria at Oconomowoc High School, 641 E. Forest St.,  in Oconomowoc.   

Advance tickets  are for sale at Park Lawn Elementary School Office  until  Monday, Nov. 19

Tickets are $6 in advance for adults, $8 at the door and $4 for children, 10 and under, in advance, $6 at the door.

Breakfast includes pancakes, sausage, fresh fruit, coffee, juice and milk. There will be free activities for the children, and photos will be available for purchase.

» Read Full Article

20 year old Big Bend woman dies in crash overnight

Nov. 12, 2012 8:00 a.m. |  A 20 year old Big Bend woman was killed after her vehicle struck a utility pole on Artesian Avenue near Scenic Dr. in Big Bend at around 12:19 a.m. this morning, according to a press release from the Waukesha County Sheriff's Department.

The Waukesha County Sheriff's Department is still investigating the crash, but preliminary reports indicate the woman was travelling eastbound on

Artesian Avenue from Scenic Drive. Upon cresting a hill, she lost control of her vehicle, left the roadway and struck a utility pole.

Squads from the Waukesha County Sheriff’s

Department and EMS personnel from the Town of Vernon Fire Department responded to the scene where the woman was pronounced dead at the scene.

» Read Full Article

AHS rolls into state title game

Nov. 10, 2012 10:12 p.m. |  Arrowhead's undefeated and No. 1 ranked football team advanced to next Friday's WIAA Division 1 state championship game Saturday by rolling over previously undefeated Hudson at D.C. Everest in Schofield,, 43-20.

AHS (12-0) will play in the title contest at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison at 4 p.m. against Sun Prairie (12-0).

AHS fell behind 14-9 in the second quarter on Saturday but then rallied to take a 29--20 lead at halftime. In the second half the Warhawks held Hudson scoreless while scoring two touchdowns.

The Warhawks, who will be playing in the Division 1 championship game for the 10th time, piled up 598 total yards in the game. Arrowhead passed  for 490 yards.

Senior quarterback Brady Kelliher completed 24 of 35 passes for 427 yards and three touchdowns. Junior end Ricky Finco caught nine passes for 254 yards.

» Read Full Article

Lasers felled in state semifinal

Nov. 10, 2012 3:27 p.m. | Kettle Moraine's boys volleyball team went down swinging against No. 2-seeded Burlington in the WIAA state semifinal Saturday afternoon, 25-21, 25-22, 22-25, 25-20.

Adam Martell finished with 14 kills for the Lasers, and Mitchell Oleson added 12.

Lasers rally around coach to win state quarterfinal

Nov. 09, 2012 11:01 p.m. | For being such a small appendage, the pinky finger can wield its share of pain if damaged. Adam Martell shrugged it right off.

The Kettle Moraine senior leader dislocated the digit in a crucial fourth set against Wauwatosa East in the WIAA boys volleyball state quarterfinal. But he was on the floor when the Lasers rallied for wins in the final two sets, throwing down the game-winning kill in a 25-15, 18-25, 18-25, 25-22, 15-11 thriller at Wisconsin Lutheran College in Wauwatosa.

"Being the pinky finger, (it didn't really concern me)," said Martell, who finished with 20 kills and a .325 attack percentage. "It hindered me a little bit. It's not the swinging or setting or anything, it's the block again. Last time I did it (on the left thumb), I went right back up and hit the same exact thumb."

Martell busted his finger on a block that fell and gave the Lasers an 11-8 lead. Martell missed two points -- KM won them both -- and checked back in after a timeout, registering five more kills the rest of the match.

"It was mangled," assistant coach Sean Curley said. "He didn't even want to take the point off. He wanted the trainer, wanted it popped and wanted to get right back in there."

» Read Full Article

Saturdays are for shopping local in Oconomowoc

Nov. 09, 2012 12:46 p.m. | The owners of Willows Gallery in downtown Oconomowoc are gearing up for the Oconomowoc Area Chamber of Commerce's Shop Second Saturday tomorrow.

"Shopping local is so important, not just for small business but for the communities we all share. The Chamber in Oconomowoc has given us an awesome program to promote this very important cause," said Joshua Phinn of Willows Gallery.

He said the BE LOCAL campaign, Shop 2nd Saturday is an opportunity to support local merchant, but also the change to win free stuff. When you make a purchase at participating stores - list found at you will be entered in a drawing to win a gift from one of those participating business.

To read more about Saturday's Be Local program and what is offered, go here.

Oconomowoc Winter Farmers Market on Sunday

Nov. 09, 2012 12:42 p.m. | The Oconomowoc Winter Farmers Market kicks off its season on Sunday at Oconomowoc Landscape and Supply. Alice in Dairyland and Waukesha County Executive Dan Vrakas will be there to celebrate the market's first day.

Read more here.

Visit a war memorial on Veteran's Day

Nov. 09, 2012 7:42 a.m. | If you're looking for a quiet way to honor Veteran's Day, consider visiting one of Lake Country's many war memorials. See this week's Living Lake Country Sunday for photos of the area's memorials.

Club gets good at breakfast

Nov. 09, 2012 12:00 a.m. | When you make breakfast for 24 years, it’s probably going to be pretty good.

While members of the Ixonia/Concord Explorers Club have been only making their breakfast just once a year, it’s still probably going to be pretty good.

This Sunday from 8 a.m. to noon at the Ixonia Pub, on Marietta Avenue in Ixonia, the club will be hosting its 24th annual I.C.E. Snowmobile Club Country Breakfast.

The breakfast includes eggs, eggs deluxe, pancakes, blueberry pancakes, ham, hash, hash browns, sweets, juice, milk, coffee and more.

Advance tickets are $8 and can be purchased at Ixonia Pub, Loppy’s or any club member. Tickets at the door are $8.50. Breakfast for children 6 to 12 is $4 while children 5 and younger eat free.

Fourth annual Municipal Chili Cook-Off this weekend

Nov. 08, 2012 12:00 p.m. |  Add a little spice to your weekend with the fourth annual Municipal Chili Cook-Off from 2-4 p.m. Nov. 11 at Kettle Moraine High School, 349 N. Oak Crest Dr., Wales. Entry with 2 or more nonperishable food items or a cash donation. For more information call  (262) 968-3968.

Plaque dedication honors MHS alumni armed service members

Nov. 08, 2012 11:01 a.m. | The Mukwonago High School History Club will honor MHS alumni who have given their lives serving our country during a plaque dedication and reception on Wednesday, Nov. 14 at 6:15 p.m. In the MHS commons 

For more information, contact Maura Frenn, History Club advisor at (262) 363-6200, ext.25203

Newspaper prompts school investigation into sexual assault charges against student

Nov. 08, 2012 10:54 a.m. | Seventeen-year-old Daniel Koepke faces four felony charges after allegedly sexually assaulting a 6-year-old girl over the summer.

He was charged in Washington County Circuit Court on July 17. Charges include first-degree child sexual assault, exposing genitals or pubic area, causing a child to view/listen to sexual activity and incest. Monday, Nov. 5, however, was the first time officials at Hamilton School District heard of it.

Koepke is a senior at Hamilton High School and lives on Majestic Heights Trail, right around the corner from Woodside Elementary.

The conditions of his bond state that he is to have no contact with the victim or the victim’s family, he’s to stay at his main residence, that he is not to travel outside of the state except for a planned trip with his family, and he is not to have any unsupervised contact with anyone younger than 16 except his younger brother.

Last week, the alleged victim’s mother – who lives in Washington County – contacted the Sussex Sun saying, “I want all those kids at that elementary school, on his street and at the high school to be safe.”

» Read Full Article

Parent presentation on "Dark Side of the Internet"

Nov. 08, 2012 10:53 a.m. | Oconomowoc Parent Education Network invites you to a Parent Information Night tonight from  6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the OHS Little Theater (enter through doors to the Oconomowoc Arts Center) regarding "The Dark Side of the Internet"

 Presenter Eric Szatkowski has been a special Agent with the Wisconsin Department of Justice/Division of Criminal Investiga-tion for 20 years. He’s currently assigned to the state’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force in Milwaukee. Since 1999, Eric has earned a reputation as one of the top officers in the nation in apprehending sexual predators of children who use the Internet and/or cell phones to seduce or exploit children.

Eric’s work has been recognized by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the United States Attor-ney’s Office for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. He has also provided assistance to dozens of law enforcement agencies in the area of online exploitation of children

 He will be giving a presentation to intermediate students during the day.

This presentation on the digital exploitation of children in-cludes real-life examples and practical advice for anyone interested in the safety and well-being of children while online or using cell phones. Eric Szatkowski will provide a live, eye-opening demonstration of some troubling sites our children can easily visit. He will also explain how filters and monitoring software can be used to protect our children.

Oconomowoc's Gymlingo closes on sale to move into former church

Nov. 08, 2012 10:25 a.m. | Gymlingo owners, Tai Yong Cao and Kathleen Ping, recently announced that they have closed on the sale of the former St. Jerome Church on Main Street in downtown Oconomowoc. They now will begin work to move their gymnastics business into the larger space. They said the move will enable them to offer more to customers and have higher levels of training for competition.

They said they are now working with contractors to begin remodeling, but have not yet set a timetable for relocating the business.

Watch for more on this story in Tuesday's Oconomowoc Focus.

Kids' Choice Reading Program

Nov. 08, 2012 9:06 a.m. |  The Waukesha County Kids’ Choice Award encourages children in grades 4, 5 and 6 to keep reading at an age when interest in books often wanes. The program engages kids in the pre-teen years by giving a sense of ownership in the project as the award acknowledges their choices for the best books. Librarians from public libraries and school library media centers gather nominations from students and choose  15  titles. The Library System provides posters and bookmarks to participating public libraries and schools.

Kids who read at least five of the books vote for their favorite in early February at their school and public libraries or online at The winners - the books that Waukesha County Kids love to read (including the top vote getter and up to 3 honorable mentions) - are announced around Valentine's Day.

The Milwaukee Wave professional indoor soccer team sponsors the program, offering tickets to Milwaukee Wave games as reading incentives and participating in the annual award ceremony each February.

For more information contact Claudia Backus, Waukesha County Federated Library System, Library Services Specialist at 262-896-8087 or

Candidate steps forward for 98th Assembly seat

Nov. 08, 2012 8:15 a.m. | A candidate has stepped forward as a candidate for the 98th Assembly seat, which is expected to be vacated if Rep. Paul Farrow (R-Pewakee) takes the 33rd State Senate seat in the December election.

Matt Morzy (R-Waukesha) will seek Farrow's Asssembly seat.

Farrow won both the primary for the Senate position and the 98th Assembly spot in Tuesday's election. He is uncontested in December's general election for the Senate seat. If he wins that election, his Assembly seat would be vacated and would be filled in a special election, possibly in spring. Gov. Scott Walker has not set a date for such an election.

“I hope to continue to deliver the same great representation to the 98th Assembly district that (Farrow) provided,” Morzy said in a prepared statement. “I am a proud supporter of the fiscal commonsense approach to leadership that Gov. Walker and the Wisconsin Republicans have shown in the last two years. I pledge that I will look to pass budgets that provide for us now and in the future, work to improve the economic outlook in Wisconsin, and to provide for our veterans that have sacrificed so much for us.”

A lifelong Wisconsin resident, Morzy has lived in Waukesha County since he enrolled at Carroll University in 2001. He graduated in 2005 from Carroll with a bachelor's of business administration in finance and is pursuing a master's degree in finance from Marqueet University.

Weekend fire destroys two Village of Mukwonago garages

Nov. 07, 2012 12:34 p.m. |  The Mukwonago Fire Department was called to Andrews Street Saturday just as daylight savings switched the time over to 2:01 a.m. for a garage that had caught fire. 

On scene, fire department crews were met by Town and Village of Mukwonago Police who had been the first to arrive, and discovered that the fire had spread to the neighboring garage, Deputy Chief Andy Wegner said. The cause of the fire is still under investigation. 

The garage that initially caught fire was just about a pile of ashes when the fire department arrived. Luckily, the second garage was made mostly of brick which helped contain the fire. However, the heat from the second garage burning was so strong that the siding of the corresponding home started to melt. Crews were able to keep the situation under control to prevent the home from starting on fire. 

The fire burned through power lines near the scene, and around a half dozen residents were without power for three to four hours. As soon as emergency crews cleared the scene, We Energies arrived and repaired the power lines. 

Mutual aid was provided by Eagle, Vernon, Tess Corners, Town of Waukesha, a squad from North Prairie and the North Prairie auxiliary canteen unit. Dousman, Wales Genesee and Big Bend Fire Departments provided  station coverage while the Mukwongo department was on scene. 

» Read Full Article

Local poet launches new book at Genesee Depot restaurant

Nov. 07, 2012 12:00 p.m. | Cornerstone Restaurant, W31343 Highway 83 in Genesee Depot, is hosting a reception in honor of local poet Mary Jo Balistreri’s new book, “Gathering the Harvest,” on Wednesday, Nov. 14 at 3 p.m. Balistreri will be reading from her new collection of poems and signing the books. The event is free and open to the public. Complimentary refreshments will be served. 

“I’m really honored to be reading at Cornerstone Restaurant and share the poetry that is essential in saving my life,” says Balistreri. “Through poetry, I feel encouraged to explore my interior life, the life outside my window, to witness, praise, and grieve the journey of this one life and make sense of it. I always hope that in some way the best of my poems will resonate with others in a way playful or compassionate, and serve as a starting point for intimacy as if the reader and I are sitting across the table from each other, sharing our stories.”

Balistreri is an accomplished poet who has earned awards from writing organizations in Wisconsin, Illinois and Florida. In the last year, she won her second Jade Ring honor from the Wisconsin Writers Association and was also the first place winner in the Franciscan Center’s Spiritual Literature Contest for nonfiction. Her poems have been widely published in journals and anthologies such as Verse Wisconsin, The Healing Muse, and Crab Creek Review. 

Gathering the Harvest is Balistreri’s second book of poems published by Bellowing Ark Press. Her books can be purchased at the event or through her website.

For more information, please visit the website or call (262) 547-6087.

Town of Mukwonago voters favored Thompson

Nov. 07, 2012 9:14 a.m. |  As was the trend last night in Waukesha County, Town of Mukwonago voters cast their ballots in favor of Tommy Thompson for Senate over Tammy Baldwin, 3,511 votes to 1,246.

The town saw a 90 percent voter turnout yesterday. 

Novack wins Waukesha County Clerk race

Nov. 07, 2012 8:14 a.m. | Republican Kathleen Novack has been elected as the new Waukesha County Clerk over Democrat Jessie Read, 155,430 votes to 63,575.

After the results were announced last night, Read made the following statement:

"First I would like to extend my congratulations to Kathleen for her win for the County Clerk office. I wish you all the best. I am certain you will manage this office with integrity and competency.

I feel that I have achieved some measure of success as well. This is my first time running for public office and I am pleased with what I was able to accomplish with this campaign. I also feel that I gave the voters of Waukesha County a viable choice for this county office - something that I don't believe they have had for a long time. That is a victory in and of itself.

Again my congratulations to Kathleen and thank you for a civil and well fought race. And to the good people of Waukesha County - I think you might well hear from me again. This will not be my one and only political race."

Town of Ottawa voters favored Thompson

Nov. 07, 2012 7:57 a.m. |  Tommy Thompson beat Tammy Baldwin in the race for Senate in the Town of Ottawa with 1,704 votes to 673.

The town reports an 88 percent voter turnout with 86 people registering as a new voter. 

The day after ...

Nov. 07, 2012 7:40 a.m. | The election is over. The political attack ads are gone. You probably already know that President Barack Obama won a second term, and that Democrat Tammy Baldwin was elected as Wisconsin's first female U.S. Senator. But what you might not know is how the vote went in your own community.

Did your village vote the way the rest of the state did? Or did it buck the trend? Were there any surprises in the way local communities voted? We'll have that information and more in our election coverage in Thursday's papers and online later today.

High voter turnout

Nov. 07, 2012 7:02 a.m. | High voter turnout was being reported throughout the Lake Country area on election night. TheVillage of Wales reported  89 percent of registered voters come out to cast a ballot in the Presidential election, 87 percent in the Village of Summit.

 Despite  Lake Country  residents staying the course with its strong Republican support, Wisconsin went in favor of Obama and  also elected Tammy Baldwin in the US Senate race against veteran Wisconsin politican Tommy Thompson.

Kapenga comfortably wins 99th Assembly

Nov. 07, 2012 1:57 a.m. | Chris Kapenga (R) wins the 99th Assembly seat with all wards reporting in, including those within the Village of Hartland.

Waukesha County shows 25,861 votes for Kapenga and 8,011 for his opponent Thomas Hibbard (D).

Hibbard said that he has many projects that he’ll turn his attention to now that campaigning is over, including a book that he’s currently working on. He also said that if the Democratic Committee asks him to run again in the future, he would consider it.

“I feel we ran a good campaign and achieved some things for Democratic candidates in the future. I’m hopeful that the days of one-party elections in Waukesha County are a thing of the past. I’m disappointed by the results, but I congratulate Chris Kapenga on his victory. I still say that there are a lot of problems in Southeastern Wisconsin and districts similar to Assembly 99, and without the environmental ideas of the Democrats I don’t see anyone doing anything about these problems except
letting them get worse,” Hibbard said.

98th Assembly Seat to become vacant

Nov. 07, 2012 1:34 a.m. | Waukesha County is reporting all but five Waukesha City wards in the the 98th Assembly seat but it will become vacant until the next special election.

Although, incumbent Paul Farrow won with 19,843 votes over newcomer Eric Prudent with 8,159, the seat will remain vacant as Farrow moves on to the 33rd State Senate seat.

"First and foremost, I'd like to congratulate President Obama on his re-election, as well as Tammy Baldwin for her election to the US Senate. Democrats across our state have worked tirelessly to make sure that our country keeps moving in the right direction in the coming years, and we have taken a great step in the right direction as a country today. I'd also like to congratulate Paul Farrow on reaching the end of this election, and I wish him the best in his additional race for Wisconsin's 33rd Senate District. I also want to thank everyone that has supported my campaign. This includes my staff, my volunteers, my contributors, and everyone else that has backed me in this monumental race. We're all in this together, and I look forward to continuing my fight for Wisconsinites in the future," Prudent said in a prepared statement.

A special election to fill the assembly seat will likely take place during the spring primary and election in February and April. Governor Walker has yet to announce the official date for that election.

Kapenga concedes 33rd Senate to Farrow

Nov. 07, 2012 1:18 a.m. | With over 75 percent reporting in, Paul Farrow has gained a slight lead at 27,449 votes over Chris Kapenga who holds 25,052 votes for the 33rd State Senate Seat. Kapenga recently called Farrow to concede the primary special election race.

In a prepared statement, Kapenga wrote that he wanted to congratulate Paul Farrow in his win and said that he looked forward to continuing his service with Farrow in the state legislature to “make Wisconsin a better place to live and work.”

“I look forward to working with Chris Kapenga and serving both the 98th and 99th Assembly Districts, during the next State Legislature session,” Farrow said. He also said that he was excited about working for better education and education reform during the next session.

A general election is still planned to take place early December and Farrow's vacant seat in the assembly seat will likely trigger a special election, possibly in spring of 2013.

95 vote difference for close 33rd Senate Seat, still counting

Nov. 06, 2012 11:53 p.m. | Some are calling the race between Paul Farrow and Chris Kapenga for the 33rd State Senate Seat the closest race in Wisconsin tonight. 

The City of Pewaukee and some wards in the City of Waukesha have yet to report.

Farrow currently holds 17,683 votes and Kapenga carries 17,778. That's a difference of 95 votes.

Both candidates are also running in separate Assembly races -- 98th Assembly and 99th Assembly, respectively.

Nass wins 33rd Assembly District seat

Nov. 06, 2012 11:24 p.m. |  Republican Steve Nass easily won the Assembly District 33 seat, claiming 62-percent of the vote over challengers Scott Woods (D) and Terry Virgil (L). See the complete story in next week’s Mukwonago Chief.

Palmyra-Eagle School District referendums fail

Nov. 06, 2012 11:09 p.m. | Both Palmyra-Eagle referendum questions failed with 58-percent of voters saying no to exceeding state revenue limits to maintain educational programs compared to 42-percent voting in favor of supporting district operations and 53-percent saying no to borrowing funds for facility maintenance compared to 47-percent voting in favor of the referendum. 

Watch for the complete story in the next Mukwonago Chief.

33rd Senate still close

Nov. 06, 2012 10:34 p.m. | It's a close race for the primary between Republicans Paul Farrow and Chris Kapenga for the vacant 33rd State Senate Seat. 

With 34% reporting in, Farrow holds 12,125 or 52 percent while Kapenga carries 11,218 or 48 percent.

Both candidates are also running in separate Assembly races -- 98th Assembly and 99th Assembly, respectively.

Kleefisch keeps seat in 38th; challenger said he can 'hold head up high'

Nov. 06, 2012 10:31 p.m. | Republican incumbent Joel Kleefisch will serve another term in the 38th Assembly District as he beat Democratic challenger Scott Michalak Tuesday night.

The district spans three counties - Jefferson, Dane and Waukesha - and the Oconomowoc resident incumbent Kleefisch saw decent competition from Michalak in some areas.

In Waukesha County, Kleefisch earned 8,085 votes and Michalak, 2,977, Dane, Kleefisch 2,258, Michalak, 3,840; and in Jefferson, Kleefisch, 3,565, Michalak, 3,385 (with 73 percent reporting as of 10 p.m.).

Michalak said he can hold his head up high after working hard to campaign. He said he wore out three pairs of shoes and knocked on more than 20,000 doors throughout the district.

Kleefisch pulls ahead in 38th; wins in Waukesha County

Nov. 06, 2012 9:53 p.m. | According to reports, incumbent Joel Kleefisch has pulled ahead in the race for the 38th Assembly District with 78 percent reporting.

In Waukesha County, Kleefisch has won with 8,085 votes to Democratic challenger Scott Michalak's 2,977. Libertarian Leroy Watson of Oconomowoc earned 223 votes in Waukesha County.

90% turnout in Ashippun, GOP votes dominate

Nov. 06, 2012 9:44 p.m. | Ashippun Clerk Vickie Schlieve reported a 90 percent turnout in the town for the fall election Tuesday night.

Of the 1,566 ballots cast, 1,144 voted for Romney/Ryan while 410 voted for Obama/Biden. The strong Republican totals continued with 1,121 votes cast for Tommy Thompson for U.S. Senate compared to 399 for Tammy Baldwin.

Another race in Ashippun was for the 39th Assembly district again with a Republican candidate winning, Mark Born, 1,147 votes to Democratic candidate Jim Grigg's 355 votes.

Large turnout in Village of Summit

Nov. 06, 2012 9:31 p.m. | The Village of Summit reported an 87 percent turnout on election day. Watch for individual results from Summit voters in Tuesday's election.

Race close so far between incumbent Kleefisch and newcomer Michalak

Nov. 06, 2012 9:24 p.m. | Democratic newcomer Scott Michalak is showing some competition in Assembly District 38 in his challenge to incumbent Joel Kleefisch who has held the seat for several terms.

With more than 40 percent reporting, Michalak is leading with 54 percent or 6,584 votes compared to Kleefisch's 5,200 votes at the time of this post. Libertarian candidate Leroy Watson of Oconomowoc has 316 votes.

Watch for more on this race as polls continue to post results.

Thompson wins in Town of Eagle

Nov. 06, 2012 9:22 p.m. | Tommy Thompson takes yet another Lake Country area, beating Tammy Baldwin in the race for Senate 1,563 to 579 in the Town of Eagle.

The town had a 92 percent voter turnout.

Thompson wins in Town of Genesee

Nov. 06, 2012 8:51 p.m. | Tommy Thompson wins in a landslide in the Town of Genesee, beating Tammy Baldwin in the Senate race with 3,487 votes to 1,291.

The town is still calculating the number of new voters, but had a 91 percent voter turnout based on the number of registered voters as of this morning.

Big Bend voters favor Thompson

Nov. 06, 2012 8:46 p.m. | Big Bend voters showed their favor for Tommy Thompson during today' election as he beat Tammy Baldwin 508 to 240 in the village.

The village had a 93 percent voter turnout and 68 new registered voters.  

Thompson takes North Prairie

Nov. 06, 2012 8:34 p.m. | Tommy Thompson beat Tammy Baldwin in the race for Senate in today's election, 959 votes to 339 in the Village of North Prairie.

The village has reported a 90 percent voter turnout with 67 new voters registered.

Thompson wins over Baldwin in Village of Eagle

Nov. 06, 2012 8:31 p.m. | Tommy Thompson won more votes in the Village of Eagle in the race for Senate, beating Tammy Balwin 780 votes to 259.

The village reported a 90 percent voter turnout with 67 new voters registered.

This information is according to unofficial results.

Aside from spoiled ballots, voting goes well in Village of Mukwonago

Nov. 06, 2012 6:34 p.m. |  

Village of Mukwonago poll worker Bob Sockrider (right) watches as Jeff Kleiber casts his ballot.

The Village saw a steady flow of voters today as officials expect a high voter turnout for the presidential election. Voting went smoothly with few problems during the day following a big rush of morning voters. However, according to poll worker Bob Zautner, as of 6 p.m. there had been 69 spoiled ballots because of voter error.

Hamilton Schools not notified of student's child sexual assault charges

Nov. 06, 2012 4:31 p.m. | Seventeen-year-old Daniel Koepke faces four felony charges after allegedly sexually assaulting his 6-year-old cousin over the summer.

He was charged in Washington County Circuit Court on July 17.Charges include first-degree child sexual assault, exposing genitals or pubic area, causing a child to view/listen to sexual activity and incest. Yesterday, Monday, Nov. 5, however, was the first time that the Hamilton School District had heard of it.

Koepke is a senior at Hamilton High School and lives on Majestic Heights Trail, right around the corner from Woodside Elementary. Koepke has been released under specific bond conditions, according to the alleged victim’s mother.

The Washington County District Attorney’s Office has not yet returned our phone calls seeking more information about Koepke’s case and the conditions of the bond.

Last week, the alleged victim’s mother – who lives in Washington County – began contacting area news outlets, including Lake Country Publications, because “I want all those kids at that elementary school, on his street and at the high school to be safe.”

» Read Full Article

Oconomowoc Roundy's Distribution Center sends water to New Jersey

Nov. 06, 2012 2:43 p.m. |

At 8:30 a.m. Tuesday a truck arrived at Roundy's Oconomowoc Distribution Center on Delafield Road and crews began loading the 20 pallets of water to head to New Jersey for those affected by storms.
Roundy's sent a truck load of 16.9 oz. units of Roundy’s bottled water, valued at $7,185.60. The load includes: 20 pallets, 1,440 cases or  34,560 bottles of water going to those in need.

The truck is expected to arrive in New Jersey by 7 a.m. Thursday.

Village of Pewaukee Clerk addresses voting malfunction concerns

Nov. 06, 2012 2:33 p.m. | There might have been a voting machine error at about 9 a.m. in the Village of Pewaukee, according to voter Paul Provinzano, but Village Clerk Nancy Zastrow said that they are following procedure.

Provinzano told the Journal Sentinel that he inserted his ballot into the machine but the number, 298, did not change.

He alerted Zastrow, who said that although it is possible that the machine malfunctioned somehow, because it made the acceptation beep rather than the rejection beep, she is “98.5%” sure that the vote counted.

The same error might have happened 10 minutes later, and Zastrow’s staff made note of that, as well. Zastrow said that no other errors have happened since then.

“I’ve been in contact with the Government Accountability Board; we’ll figure it out, and every vote will count,” Zastrow said.

» Read Full Article

Morning voter turn out "typical"

Nov. 06, 2012 10:19 a.m. | Lake Country election officials are describing as "typical" what appears to be a heavy voter turn out through out the region.

Election officials in Lisbon, Sussex, and the Village of Merton reported waiting lines in excess of 100 people as the polls opened at 7 a.m.

More than 70 voters had cast ballots within the first 26 minutes of voting at Hamilton High School, on Town Line Road, one of three polling places for the Town of Lisbon.

A line of voters stretching from inside the National Guard Armory on Maples Avenue to an outside parking lot formed quickly after the polls opened in the Village of Sussex.

Nearly 200 voters in the Village of Merton and nearly 250 in the Village of Hartland had cast ballots within the first two hours of voting.

» Read Full Article

The Pub reopens today at 4 p.m.

Nov. 06, 2012 9:22 a.m. | Whether you are celebrating or drowning your sorrows this election night, you can do it at The Pub in Oconomowoc  which officially reopens today at 4 p.m., The tavern has been closed since a July 1 fatal  fire broke out in an adjacent building, leaving the Pub with substantial water and smoke damage,

The kitchen is not open yet, but the drinks will be flowing!


Polls are open!

Nov. 06, 2012 7:22 a.m. | Whoever you support, get out there and cast your vote today. Then, let us know about your experience: Were there long lines? Any problems with ballots? Or did everything go smoothly? Send us an email at or tweet at us (@LakeCountryPubs) on Twitter. Have a picture with your "I voted" sticker? A photo of the line you had to stand in? Send us that too!

Check Community Watch throughout the day to see how election day is going in Lake Country. And watch for local vote totals and stories in Thursday's paper.

Final Oconomowoc Haunted High raises $95,000

Nov. 05, 2012 8:02 p.m. | The Oconomowoc Public Education Foundation (OPEF) announced Monday that its three haunted events raised more than $114,000 to support educational opportunities in the Oconomowoc Area School District. 

Proceeds from the Haunted High attraction at the former Oconomowoc Middle School, combined with income from the third OPEF’s Haunted Ball
and the raffle of the Haunted Bus, set new records for the foundation as it enters its fifth year.
“We set out to make 2012 our best year yet, and we did just that, thanks to more than 500 volunteers, an amazing group of leaders and the support of sponsors and donors,” said Mike Herro, president, OPEF board of directors.
More than 9,500 “victims” went through the 10 sessions of Haunted High’s “Senior Year,” ending the four-year run.

Net proceeds from Haunted High alone were $95,000, a 106 percent increase over the first Haunted High in 2009.

More on this story in Thursday's Oconomowoc Focus.

Community Watch


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Best Summer Ever


We've made it easy for you to get out and go this summer. From hitting the trails for a bike ride or walk, to where to find beer gardens in the area, to the best places to swim in Waukesha County to the best summer drinks and summer reads, check out our 2016 summer guide.

Waukesha County Fair


The 2016 Waukesha County Fair saw rain, scorching temps and tropical humidity throughout its five-day run. Check out our stories, photos and video from the fair, including coverage of the new pig, duck and goat races, the 50th annual Fairest of the Fair contest, as well as a ranking of the top food items.






Weekend Happenings

Featured this week:  

North Shore Bank-Taste of Lake Country: 5 p.m. July 29, 4 p.m. July 30, Pewaukee Beach Front, 120 W. Wisconsin Ave., Pewaukee. Headline Friday night is The Toys and Saturday night The Love Monkeys. Free.

Kids from Wisconsin: 7:30 p.m. July 29, Oconomowoc Arts Center, 641 E. Forest St., Oconomowoc. Celebrating its 48th show season with a talented group of 33 young performers representing 29 different hometowns across Wisconsin, this year’s tour theme is Sing! Free.

Wisconsin State Frog Jump Championship: 1 p.m. July 30-31, Cory Park, Downtown Dousman, Dousman. Visit  

Catelyn Picco: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. July 31, Mama D’s Coffee, 104 W Main St., Wales. Free.

All weekend happenings