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Amtrak hits truck, kills Oconomowoc man

Dec. 29, 2011 10:28 p.m. | An Oconomowoc man was killed when an Amtrak train hit his truck at a Jefferson County railroad crossing Thursday, according to the Sheriff's Department and the national passenger railroad.

Jefferson County Sheriff Paul Milbrath said Michael Dragan, 44, had driven down a private driveway that crosses the tracks in the Town of Ixonia, when the train struck his 2007 Chevrolet truck about 4:42 p.m. The county coroner's office pronounced Dragan dead at the scene.

No one was injured aboard the westbound Empire Builder, which was carrying 326 passengers, plus crew members, on its daily trip between Chicago and Seattle, Amtrak spokeswoman Vernae Graham said. The train was stopped at the scene for about four hours while local authorities investigated the crash.

Report of train versus car near Ixonia

Dec. 29, 2011 5:33 p.m. | According to recent reports authorities are investigating a train versus car accident in Jefferson County between Watertown and Ixonia.

More on this story as it develops.

VIDEO: Pewaukee High School referendum projects

Dec. 29, 2011 4:11 p.m. | See the latest from Pewaukee High School as phase one of the school district's referendum project wraps up. The high school will unveil its new 22,000 sq. ft. gymnasium on Jan. 3 as the girls basketball team takes on New Berlin West.

Teachers and staff are already moving into eight new classrooms constructed on the building's west side.

The entire project is slated for completion in December 2012.

Read the full story at and see the video here:

One killed in crash in Oconomowoc

Dec. 29, 2011 1:37 p.m. |

A man was killed in a two-vehicle accident on the Highway 16/67 bypass this morning, according to Town of Oconomowoc police.

A police spokesperson said the crash occurred about 7:47 a.m. just north of Highway Z. No information was available about the other driver. The crash is under investigation.

Freezing rain caused more than 100 crashes in Waukesha County this morning.

Crane slips off trailer in downtown Hartland

Dec. 29, 2011 1:06 p.m. | A crane slipped off its trailer while driving through Hartland Thursday morning and that accident closed Capitol Drive in downtown Hartland for about 30 minutes. The crane fell partially off the trailer at about 11:30 a.m. just west of the U.S. Bank.

Ken Weber Towing and Recovery of Pewaukee came with a large lifting truck and got the trailer free and back on the ground at about 12:50 p.m. Capitol Drive was closed from Church Street to Goodwin Avenue for about one-half hour.

Icy roads left Waukesha County roads littered with cars this morning

Dec. 29, 2011 11:56 a.m. |  Between 5 a.m. and 9: 30 a.m. this morning, Waukesha County had 122 property accidents, 20 injury accidents, and 45 vehicles in the ditch, the Waukesha County Sheriff's Department reports. 

Cold temperatures and wet conditions made for slick driving throughout the county, but the Sheriff's Department reports that the I-94 and Highway 16 stretch saw most of the accidents. 

Owl theft case postponed to January

Dec. 29, 2011 9:51 a.m. | Waukesha – A hearing on dismissing a burglary charge against one of the two teens suspected of stealing an owl from the Wildlife In Need Center in November was postponed to Jan. 13.

Matthew R. Kuhlemeyer, 18, of N2809 Road Z, and Dilan S. White, 17, of 592 N. Buth Road, both of Dousman, were charged burglary and criminal damage to property for stealing an owl named Dakota Nov. 12.

Attorney Dan Fay, who represents Kuhlemeyer,  filed a motion arguing the burglary charge should be dismissed as the bird was taken from a cage and not a structure. In the motion, Fay said state statutes define a burglary as when a person enters a building or dwelling without the consent of the owner and with the intent to steal or commit a felony. Fay argued Dakota was in an outdoor cage.

Prosecutors filed a response Dec. 21 to Fay’s motion stating the outdoor cage is a structure under the definition of case law.

At a hearing this morning Fay said he had just received the state’s motion Tuesday and had not had time to prepare a response. Fay’s motion will be heard Jan. 13.

» Read Full Article

Accidents result of slippery roads

Dec. 29, 2011 8:09 a.m. | Law enforcement officials were kept busy this morning as slick roads caused a number of accidents across the Lake Country area.

Police are at the scene of a head-on accident that occurred on westbound Highway 16,  just north of Highway Z in Oconomowoc. An Ambulance have been dispatched to the scene   Mutual aid has requested to standby.

Police were also called to a rollover accident at I-94 and Highway 16 in Pewaukee. According to dispatch, the vehicle was unoccupied.

In tjhe Village of Oconomowoc Lake. an accident was reported earlier this morning at Highway 16 by the Brown Street exit.   

There's no music like show music

Dec. 29, 2011 12:00 a.m. | During the Golden Age of Hollywood audiences enjoyed some of the finest music of the 20th century. Songs like “Somewhere over the Rainbow” from “The Wizard of Oz” and “As Time Goes By” from “Casablanca” have become beloved classics as have other tunes from shows such as “Pal Joey,” “A Star is Born,” “Meet Me in St. Louis” and “Easter Parade.”

The songs made famous by Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra, Ethel Merman and other stars will fill the intimate Lake Country Playhouse Thursday and Friday, Dec. 29 and 30. Aptly named “That’s Entertainment!” the show features the talents of Nate Groonwald, Allie Wojciechowski, Justin Adair, Brian Craft, Amanda Horvath, and Jordan Yentz, under the direction of Chicago director/choreographer Bobby Johnson.

Show times are 7:30 p.m. each night. Tickets are $18-$20.

Lake Country Playhouse is located at 221 E. Capitol Drive in Hartland. For more information, call (262) 367-4697.

KM, AHS hockey teams win

Dec. 28, 2011 7:46 p.m. | The varsity boys hockey teams from Kettle Moraine/Mukwonago/Oconomowoc and Arrowhead both scored victories at Wilson Park on Wednesday in the third and final round of the Milwaukee Admirals Cup tournament.

KM/MHS/OHS rallied for two goals in the final period to defeat the Germantown Ice Bears, 2-1. Germantown led 1-0 after the first period before KM won the game by scoring two goals in the final 13 minutes. Scoring for the Lasers were Michael Del Vecchio and Matt Sherry. Quinn Disrud was the winning goalie.

Arrowhead rolled over the Greendale Ice Force, 9-2. AHS led 9-1 after two periods.

Mike Adams and Jared Johnson led the Warhawks with two goals each. Tristan Rostagno, Nick Peterson, Garrett Opay and Sam Schultz also scored for the winners. Collecting assists were Rostagno (2), Colin Nowicki (2), Peterson, Opay and Johnson. Parker McColl was the winning goalie.

Thief takes trash mens' tips

Dec. 28, 2011 3:36 p.m. |

Town of Oconomowoc – Police are trying to track down a Grinch who stole Christmas tips Dec. 23.

According to police, a person in a white van drove through the town and was witnessed taking tips and gift cards that were left out with the trash. The gifts were for Veolia garbage men.

The thefts occurred in several areas of the town including on Woodlake Drive, West Lake Drive, Misty Meadows subdivision, Lakeview subdivision and in the Okauchee area. Police said the thefts are something of an annual event but were more sporadic in years past.

Anyone with any information regarding the theft should contact police at 920-474-4812.

Salvation Army bell ringing passes goal for 2011 season

Dec. 28, 2011 12:59 p.m. | The Salvation Army reports total bell ringing funds as of Dec. 24 at $404,984.01 without the kettles of Christmas Eve from Mukwonago (projecting about $2,500). With ketle left on stands after Christmast the total could potentially be nearly $410,000, according to a news release from  Carol Lemirand (Major Carol), Salvation Army Corps Officer, which surpasses the bell ringing goal of $400,000.

"We owe so much gratitude to the thousands of volunteers, our faithful paid bell ringers who filled in when volunteers weren't available, the media, our prayer warriors and to the best staff of any Salvation Army Corps," said Lemirand in the news release. "This is only one of many big projects during Christmas and we heard laughter, shared tears with some of our program participants, sighed when we needed to "pull back" a moment and then everyone went full speed ahead to accomplish the mission of affecting the lives of "others"  every day."   

Man flees crash scene; charged with 4th OWI

Dec. 28, 2011 9:32 a.m. | A man was arrested for his 4th OWI after rolling over his vehicle and wrapping it around a tree on Old Village Road around Highway 83 at 10:34 p.m. on Dec. 22.

The man, whose name is not being released by police, fled the scene into a wooded area, and was soon found by emergency personnel walking around the roundabout at Highway 83 and Highway 53. 

The man was transported to Waukesha Memorial Hospital for a leg injury. 

Dakota doing better, moved to aviary

Dec. 28, 2011 8:11 a.m. | Staff at the Wildlife In Need Center was happy to report Tuesday that Dakota has moved from the small enclosure he has been in since his rescue to a large indoor aviary.

A Facebook post on the center's page shared the news.

"He has finally reached a weight that allowed his vet to give the 'OK' for him to move. He still has some weight to gain before being at his normal weight, but he's getting closer.

"Also he was able to have his first fully furred whole prey meal today. He finished his meal in under 30 seconds ... he loved it!" the post continues.

The indoor aviary is a new feature in the center's new, expanded facility. It will allow center staff to slowly decrease the temperature to re-acclimate Dakota to outside temps as he recovers.

» Read Full Article

AHS girls lose to Middleton

Dec. 27, 2011 4:44 p.m. | In a battle of two of the top-rated girls basketball teams in the state, the Middleton Cardinals defeated Arrowhead Tuesday afternoon in a first-round game in the fourth annual Christine Rathke Memorial Tournament in Franklin,  35-32.

Middleton, ranked fifth in this week's Division 1 Associated Press poll, outscored the eighth-ranked Warhawks 6-3 in the final 5:22 to win. Middleton improved to 4-1 on the season and AHS fell to 4-2. Both of Arrowhead's losses have been to teams ranked in the  top five in the state.

Senior Jenny Smith fired in 17 points to lead the Warhawks. Senior guard Amanda Bauer was next with 5 points.

AHS had six turnovers in the fourth quarter, including three lob passes intended for Smith in the lane that were all intercepted in the final 2:30.

Dec. 31 ticket deadline for MHS Dancing with Our Stars

Dec. 27, 2011 4:31 p.m. | The Mukwonago High School varsity dance team is rehearsing for its annual fundraiser, "Dancing with Our Stars," which will be held on Saturday, Jan. 7 at MHS. 

Doors open at 6 p.m. for the 6:30 dinner with the show starting at 8 p.m., featuring local chiropractor Rocco Perugini, Mukwonago Library Director Nick Weber, Mukwonago police officer Chris Heckman, Mukwonago fire fighter Bryan Stefancin, Braves coach Joe Lefko, MHS homecoming king Cody Novotny, MHS prom king Cullen Schuh, and Mukwonago Area School District teachers Jeremiah Chitwood, Scott Pratt and Mike Cavill.

Ticket prices for the dinner and show are $15 for adults and $10 for children under 14. Dinner will be provided by "Andrew" Engine Company 56.

Contact Linda Schedlbauer at (262) 363-2779 for tickets. Deadline for ticket sales is Dec. 31.

Flight for Life called for yesterday morning Town of Waterford accident

Dec. 27, 2011 2:50 p.m. |  A 21 year old Muskego woman was transported to Froedtert Hospital by Flight for Life, and a Mukwonago woman and a teenage girl were transported to Waukesha Memorial by ambulance after a two vehicle collision in the intersection of Highway 83 and Highway L in the Town of Waterford at 11:40 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 26. 

According to the Racine Country Sheriff’s Office, Kaila Shore, 21, of Muskego was westbound on Highway L in her Pontiac Grand Prix where she stopped at the stop sign, proceeded to cross Highway 83 and pulled out into the path of a Chevy Equinox heading south on Highway 83. 

Shore was taken to the hospital with head injuries. The Mukwonago woman, identified as Susan Modesto, 59, and her passenger, a teenage girl, were taken to Waukesha Memorial for non life threatening injuries. 

The intersection was closed for around four hours as a result of the crash, the Racine Country Sheriff’s Office reports. The Village of Mukwonago Police Department was on scene helping direct traffic. Town of Waterford Police, Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department, and the Wisconsin State Patrol Technical Reconstruction Unit were also on scene. 

Shore may be cited for failure to yield depending on what a recreation of the accident reveals.

Donate blood tomorrow

Dec. 27, 2011 2:18 p.m. | The American Red Cross and TryLine Rugby Charities are teaming up for the second annual Give Blood for Rugby Challenge, and this year, the goal is to collect 600 blood donations at participating drives across Wisconsin and Iowa. Rugby fans are invited to roll up their sleeve for patients in need just before the holiday, a time when donations tend to decline.


Hartland resident Bruce Lesniak, founder of TryLine Rugby Charities will be at the blood drive at Divine Redeemer Lutheran Church and School, 31385 Hill St in Hartland tomorrow from 11:30 am to 5:30 pm. and he invites you to join him in donating blood.

The Give Blood for Rugby Challenge not only helps patients in need during the winter months when donations tend to decline, but it also helps raise money for the Try Line Rugby Charities through corporate sponsorships, which will be used to assist severely injured players and support the growth of rugby in Wisconsin.

For more information on the Give Blood for Rugby Blood Drive Challenge, visit or

Mukwonago Chief still looking for Five Who Give

Dec. 27, 2011 4:00 a.m. |  Submissions are slow coming in to nominate Mukwonago area residents for the Mukwonago Chief's annual Five Who Give search. 

Readers can nominate anyone who lives or works in the Mukwonago, Big Bend, Vernon, East Troy, Eagle, Palmyra or North Prairie area that they feel is deserving of recognition for their dedication to making the community a better place.

To nominate someone, simply send the individual's name, address and phone number, along with a description of why you think that person deserves to be recognized as one of the Chief's Five Who Give, to Mukwonago Publications, 111 N. Rochester St. Suite 3, Mukwonago, WI 53149, drop it by our office, , or e-mail your nomination to Andrea Budde at 

Anonymous nominations for Five Who Give will not be accepted.

Nomination deadline is Jan. 10. 

» Read Full Article

KM, Arrowhead hockey teams lose

Dec. 24, 2011 11:03 a.m. | The Kettle Moraine/Mukwonago and Arrowhead varsity boys hockey teams lost their opening round games on Friday at the Admirals Cup tournament at Wilson Park in Milwaukee.

KM/Mukwonago, off to an excellent start this season, lost to Cedarburg, 4-2. The Lasers fell to 9-2 on the season with both losses coming to Cedarburg. Sam Hart and Justin Yute scored goals for KM.

Arrowhead fell to 4-6 on the season as they lost in the first round to Whitefish Bay/Nicolet/Shorewood by a 2-1 score.

Both teams will resume play in the tournament on Monday.

Delafield resident named Waukesha County judge

Dec. 23, 2011 4:44 p.m. | Gov. Scott Walker's office announced late Friday the appointment of Jennifer R. Dorow as a judge for the second branch of the Circuit Court of Waukesha County.

Dorow, a Delafield resident has 15 years of experience in law. According to a press release, she served as an associate attorney before taking the position of Assistant  District Attorney of Waukesha in 2000. She later went on to   a private law firm, where she is now a partner. Dorow’s wide range of experience includes virtually all aspects of criminal defense.

“Attorney Dorow possesses the intellect and poise that make for a perfect judicial candidate,” Governor Walker said. “Her experiences prosecutor, a criminal defense attorney and her community involvement will help her ensure that all litigants are treated fairly under the law.”

Dorow received a bachelor of arts from Marquette University before graduating cum laude from Regent University School of Law. She volunteers for Safe & Sound Waukesha and serves on the board of the Waukesha Noon Chapter of Kiwanis International. Dorow also devotes a portion of her private practice to serve as a Guardian ad Litem to protect children in Waukesha County.

Former prosecutor gets Waukesha County court appointment

Dec. 23, 2011 4:26 p.m. | Jennifer Dorow was appointed Friday to serve as a judge in Waukesha County Circuit Court by Gov. Scott Walker.

Dorow is a former assistant district attorney in Waukesha now in private practice with Huppertz & Dorow, S.C. She will replace Mark Gundrum, whom Walker recently appointed to the state Court of Appeals.

Dorow is the 16th judge appointed this year by Walker.

Dorow is a graduate of Marquette University and Regent University School of Law. She has been licensed to practice law in Wisconsin since 1996.

St. Jerome's Jingele Bell Dinner spreads Christmas cheer

Dec. 23, 2011 12:00 a.m. | In holiday movies there are many good deeds spread around on Christmas Day. Even Ebenezer Scrooge purchased the large goose in a shop window for the Cratchits on Christmas Day.

At St. Jerome Parish this Christmas Day a scene that could be part of a film will fill the hall. It is the annual Jingle Bell Dinner, hosted by St. Jerome Parish and Dr. Martin Luther Church. The turkey dinner is free and for anyone who would like to be with a Christian Community on Christmas Day. Serving is from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday.

To make reservations, request transportation or a meal delivered to your home, call (262) 567-9110.

East Troy slips past Pewaukee

Dec. 22, 2011 10:54 p.m. | Playing in a spirited nonconference battle against one of the state's premier Division 3 teams, the Pewaukee boys basketball team fell to East Troy on Thursday in the final game of the current PHS gym, 66-60.

Unlike the frenetic pace of the first three quarters, East Troy went into a stall for most of the fourth quarter, holding one possession from the 5:30 mark to 1:19 remaining. The Pirates missed a key rebounding opportunity during the timeframe, when East Troy pulled in offensive boards on consecutive missed shots. Tanner Plomb's basket at the end of the possession made it 61-58, and PHS turned it over on each of its next two chances down the floor.

Nate Dodge hit six 3-pointers for the Trojans and also hit four big free throws in the final minute to steal the outcome. He finished with 25 points. For the Pirates, Kray Bradley continued to assert himself with 23 points. The senior is averaging more than 18 points per game.

East Troy took an early 18-8 lead, but the Pirates had knotted the score by halftime at 38-38. The third quarter featured eight lead changes and two ties, with Dodge hitting three of his triples in that window.

The Pirates moved to 5-3 overall and will next play New Berlin West on Jan. 3.

Recovering owl has first media visit

Dec. 22, 2011 1:05 p.m. | After his adventure in the wild, great horned owl Dakota received visitors Thursday afternoon at the Wildlife In Need Center (WINC).

The owl, that was taken from his cage in mid-November and finally rescued from the wild on Dec. 7, has slowly been recovering. The bird has lived nearly his entire life in captivity and does not know how to hunt in the wild. When he was recovered, Dakota had lost more than 20 percent of his body weight and had to undergo a barrage of medical tests to evaluate his condition. Now back on solid foods, Dakota was ready to make his first public appearance.

Dakota sits perched behind an indoor cage at

The Wildlife In Need Center Thursday. The center

» Read Full Article

Ex-City of Pewaukee police chief loses appeal

Dec. 22, 2011 12:50 p.m. |

Former City of Pewaukee Police Chief Gary Bach lost his appeal of a circuit court decision earlier this year that dismissed his lawsuit claiming former members of his department allegedly conspired to have him fired.

The state Court of Appeals Wednesday affirmed a January decision by Waukesha County Circuit Court Judge Michael O. Bohren to dismiss the lawsuit Bach brought against Lt. John Kopatich, Officer Robert Kraemer and Officer Kelly Treece, along with Kraemer’s wife, Debbie.

» Read Full Article

"Giving Season" blood drive at HAWS today

Dec. 22, 2011 11:34 a.m. | HAWS,  the Humane Animal Welfare Society of Waukesha County, has partnered with the Blood Center of Wisconsin for a life-saving (human) blood drive from 2:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. today, Dec. 22 at the shelter at 701 Northview Road, Waukesha.

Participants will be entered to win an autographed football from Green Bay Packers tightend Jermicahel Finley. 

Registration is not required, but available online at or by calling HAWS at (262) 542-8851. 

Appointments are scheduled in 15 minute intervals. 

Batteries Plus battery packs recalled

Dec. 22, 2011 8:34 a.m. | The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has issued a recall alert for 111,800 Rayovac NI-CD Cordless Tool Battery Packs.

The rechargeable batteries, distributed by BatteriesPlus LLC of Hartland, can unexpectedly explode and poses a risk of serious injuries to consumers, warns the CPSC.

According to the announcement, BatteriesPlus has received five reports of exploding batteries. No consumer injuries have been reported to either the company or the CPSC.

For more details, visit the CPSC website here.

Mukwonago Chief looking for Five Who Give

Dec. 22, 2011 12:00 a.m. | Selfless acts happen everyday in and around Mukwonago and to honor those residents the Mukwonago Chief is kicking off its annual Five who Give campaign.

Readers can nominate anyone who lives or works in the Mukwonago, Big Bend, Vernon, East Troy, Eagle, Palmyra or North Prairie area that they feel is deserving of recognition for their dedication to making the community a better place.

To nominate someone, simply send the individual's name, address and phone number, along with a description of why you think that person deserves to be recognized as one of the Chief's Five Who Give, to Mukwonago Publications, 111 N. Rochester St. Suite 3, Mukwonago, WI 53149, drop it by our office, , or e-mail your nomination to Andrea Budde at 

Anonymous nominations for Five Who Give will not be accepted.

Nomination deadline is Jan. 10. 

» Read Full Article

UPDATED: Hartland Peace Corps volunteer dies in Mozambique

Dec. 21, 2011 2:48 p.m. | Lena Jenison, a 2007 graduate of Arrowhead High School serving in the Peace Corps, died of injuries sustained in an auto accident on Dec. 20 in Mozambique. Fellow Peace Corps volunteer Elizabeth Alden Landis, 23, from Yarrow Point, Wash., also perished in the accident.

The Peace Corps confirmed their deaths in a statement released Wednesday afternoon.

Jenison, 22, of Hartland, graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in May. In September, she traveled to Mozambique to begin her preservice training for the Peace Corps. She was officially sworn in as a Peace Corps volunteer Dec. 8, and she was slated to remain in Mozambique until December 2013.

Jenison served as an education volunteer at a local high school near Chibuto, Mozambique, where she was assigned to teach biology. Chibuto lies in the south-central region of the country.

According to the statement, she lived with a host family and enjoyed learning the customs of her new community.

» Read Full Article

Defendant in Key West homicide arrested at family's Pewaukee home

Dec. 21, 2011 2:19 p.m. | Waukesha County Sheriff's deputies arrested a man in Pewaukee early Wednesday who is wanted in connection with a homicide in Key West, Fla.

The Key West Citizen reports that Peter Erik Hedvall, 25, has been charged with first-degree murder in the bludgeoning death of a 28-year-old Venezuelan immigrant on Oct. 28, during the city's Fantasy Fest celebration.

Hedvall, who lists an address in Valrico, Fla., was arrested at his parents' home in the city of Pewaukee without incident, said Sheriff's Capt. Karen Ruff.

Hedvall is being held pending extradition to Florida.

Hartland Peace Corps volunteer dies in Mozambique

Dec. 21, 2011 1:37 p.m. | Lena Jenison, a 2007 graduate of Arrowhead High School and 2011 graudate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, was killed in a car crash in Mozambique on Tuesday. She was an education volunteer with the Peace Corps assigned to teach biology in Chibuto, Mozqmbique.

See more on this story in Thursday's Lake Country Reporter.

Dakota past worst of his physical recovery at Wildlife In Need Center

Dec. 21, 2011 12:13 p.m. |  The Wildlife In Need Center reports an overwhelming outpouring of support and concern for Dakota's recovery as his improvement continues.

After losing 27-percent of his bodyweight his muscle mass began to deteriorate in order to keep his body functioning. His outlook was guarded due to fears that his system wouldn't handle solid foods well after reaching such an emaciated state during his three weeks in the woods. However, after slowing increasing his intake, it appears the worst of his physical recovery period is over.

Following bloodwork on Monday, Dakota's veterinarian said most of his blood values have returned to within normal reference ranges. Further tests will be run today with results expected by noon on Thursday. 

"He still has a journey ahead of him, not only physically, but mentally as well, before he'll be prepared to return to work," said Wildlife Education Coordinator and Dakota's handler, Leslie Kiehl, "but for Dakota it's worth all the effort."

Former Pewaukee police chief loses appeal

Dec. 21, 2011 12:02 p.m. | The state Court of Appeals agreed Wednesday that former Pewaukee police chief Gary Bach doesn't have enough evidence to sustain an invasion of privacy lawsuit he filed right before he agreed to leave office during an inquiry into his behavior.

The 8-page opinion recounts Bach's claims that some subordinates "maliciously orchestrated" his ouster, by, among other things, secretly recording Bach talk negatively about certain department employees.

But that kind of thing was pretty common within the department at the time, and Bach really had no expectation of privacy when talking in his driveway, the court found. His claim that he was also secretly recorded in his basement, had no factual basis, the court found.

Furthermore, a culture of distrust prevailed at the police department, where it is undisputed that tape recording of employees by one another—including Bach—was, if not commonplace, at least not unusual. Indeed, Bach’s wife acknowledged that she downloaded on their home computer hundreds of hours of covert tape recordings Bach made of department employees.

The court also noted that when Bach was first investigated for sexual harassment in 2007, he signed a release of any claims against the city as part of a deal to take 10 days suspension and not have his case go to the Fire and Police Commission.

» Read Full Article

Oconomowoc's Eckert's Hometown Diner recognized

Dec. 21, 2011 9:13 a.m. | Sen. Scott Fitzgerald and Rep. Joel Kleefisch are in Oconomowoc this morning to award Shawn and Laura Eckert with a legislative citation for the annual free Thanksgiving meal the business owners provide at their downtown eatery, Eckert's Hometown Diner, 113 S. Main St.

For four years the Eckerts have opened their doors to serve a free meal with all the trimmings to anyone wanting to attend.

Watch for more on this story in the Oconomowoc Focus.

LeDuc's plans expansion

Dec. 21, 2011 9:10 a.m. | Beloved Wales frozen custard spot LeDuc's received Plan Commission approval Tuesday for a small expansion that will add seating and restrooms.

Wales Deputy Clerk/Treasurer Pauline Wigderson said the small addition will take advantage of existing space on the property. Indoor seating will be added, restrooms and 76 more parking spaces.

The Village Board will consider the request at its Jan. 3 meeting. Wigderson said there was no indication of when the expansion would occur.

Donors make a splash

Dec. 21, 2011 7:56 a.m. | Hartland is getting a summery Christmas present, thanks to the generosity of donors who have contributed more than $100,000 toward a "splash pad" for Nixon Park.

The project is being undertaken by the Lake Country Rotary. See more on this story in Thursday's Lake Country Reporter.

Arrowhead girls ward off pesky KM

Dec. 20, 2011 10:36 p.m. | The Kettle Moraine girls basketball team gave Arrowhead a serious push, but the Warhawks bounced back in time to log a 46-38 win Tuesday in the Classic 8 Conference.

The Lasers led at the half thanks to Olivia Weber's rebound basket at the buzzer, 17-16, and the score was knotted at 22-22 late in the third quarter. But Amanda Bauer and Jenny Smith scored 11 of the next 12 Arrowhead points, giving the state-ranked Warhawks an edge as large as 12 points at one point.

Bauer finished with 15 points, and Arrowhead hit 21 of 25 free throws. Weber had 15 for Kettle Moraine.

SeveraL contribute to AHS victory over KM

Dec. 20, 2011 9:24 p.m. | Arrowhead's varsity boys basketball team didn't have a single player in double figures on Tuesday, but 13 scored in the team's 64-45 victory over Kettle Moraine.

Max Hannratty and Kenny Finco each scored 8 points for the Warhawks.

Ben Varick scored 12 points for Kettle Moraine. Beck Chase scored 10 points.

Sussex gets flocked

Dec. 20, 2011 11:45 a.m. | Flocks of migrating flamingos mysteriously appeared in Sussex over the course of November and the first part of December. Their appearance prompted enough concern from Sussex residents that many opted to purchase "anti-flock" insurance to protect their yards from the pink invaders.

Historically, flamingo sightings in Sussex have likely been limited to the occasional escapee from the Milwaukee County Zoo, but thanks to several local Girl Scouts, some Sussex residents awoke to find their yards "flocked" by the tropical birds, albeit their plastic counterparts. The Girl Scouts' efforts helped raise enough money to purchase Barnes and Noble Nooks for the library at Templeton Middle School.

In a creative twist on fundraising, Kate Meagher, Lexi Detweiller and Emily Fassbender, all Girl Scouts and students at Templeton, developed an idea to place plastic flamingos in Sussex lawns - a phenomenon known as "flocking". The girls then asked the homeowners to pay $15 for "bird removal." The same homeowner could then pay an additional $15 to "flock" another home.

The three girls each had a flock at their disposal, leaving helpless Sussex residents defenseless against the flamingo migration across the village. Each night, the birds found new targets, and on the weekends, homeowners in the know could purchase "anti-flock" insurance for $10, guaranteeing their yard's safety.

The flamingos did not migrate without casualties, though. In fact, two entire flocks turned up missing, and their whereabouts remain unknown. Another flock lost a single member, only to turn up in a high school student's truck.

» Read Full Article

Wold gets life, no chance for parole in murder plot

Dec. 20, 2011 11:04 a.m. | Waukesha - To the haunting strains of Cyndi Lauper's "I Want a Mom That Will Last Forever," photos of Kimberly Smith and her son, Jackson, faded on and off a giant screen in a Waukesha County courtroom Tuesday.

Many in the packed gallery fought back tears, but the boy's father, Darren Wold, never even glanced at the display. Wold, 43, was awaiting his sentence of life in prison for plotting Smith's 2009 murder at the hand of a hired killer.

A few minutes later, though, Wold's attorney noted that his client had taken most of the pictures in the slide show, one of many apparent attempts to illustrate Wold's claimed love for his son, efforts that mostly drew groans from Smith's family.

"Fortunately, Jackson doesn't remember you," Smith's sister Laurie Zanotti had told Wold minutes earlier. She and her husband are raising the boy, who is now 9. Someday, she said, they'll tell him "just how evil you are."

She said that it was clear through the trial that Wold's family and friends were complicit in his decision to run away when he moved to Texas in the midst of his Wisconsin custody battle with Smith, 39.

» Read Full Article

Mukwonago hires Pewaukee's Iverson as new football coach

Dec. 20, 2011 3:00 a.m. |  

For the first time in years, the Pewaukee football team played Arrowhead this year, meeting the Warhawks in a nonconference season opener.

Clay Iverson didn’t know it at the time, but it was a matchup he’d need to get used to. The Warhawks just became his No. 1 rival.

Following approval from the Mukwonago School Board on Monday, the school hired Iverson to become its new football coach, replacing Bill Schulte, who was relieved from his duties following the 2011 season.

Iverson, who spent seven years with the Pirates, compiled a 57-19 record during his time there, taking over a program that had gone 2-7 in 2004 and rehabilitating it immediately. Both his 2008 and 2009 teams entered the playoffs undefeated, with the latter falling to eventual Division 3 state champion Reedsburg in a Level 2 nail-biter.

» Read Full Article

Rep. Craig pushes DOA for uniform enforcement of policy

Dec. 19, 2011 4:06 p.m. | Representative David Craig (R-Town of Vernon) and 15 state legislators sent a letter today to Secretary Mike Huebsch urging the Department of Administration (DOA) to enforce the Wisconsin State Facilities Access Policy, which went into effect on December 1, 2011. 

“We are simply requesting that the DOA uphold the rule of law uniformly for all groups,” said Representative Craig.  “For months now, there’s been a double standard for how group events are treated at the Capitol.  Those groups that willingly obey the law are required to obtain permits where necessary and comply with all of the rules, but those groups that ignore the rules do so without consequence.  That practice is unacceptable. 

“We adamantly agree that free speech should be protected,” continued Representative Craig, “but it must be protected for everyone, without favoring one group over another.  The State Capitol is a forum for free speech but we have rules to ensure that no one person or group’s free speech rights trump another person or group’s free speech rights.” 

The letter expresses the legislators’ concerns with the disruption to the peoples’ business in the State Capitol caused by daily audible disruptions at all hours of the working day both inside and outside the Capitol.  

Homicide charge filed in heroin death of Sussex woman

Dec. 19, 2011 2:28 p.m. | Waukesha - A Milwaukee man was charged Monday with causing the death of a 20-year-old Sussex woman by supplying the heroin that killed her, according to a criminal complaint filed in Waukesha County Circuit Court.

Patricia K. Berge died from overdosing in her bedroom on June 3, 2010, about a month after she started purchasing heroin from Donald Ray Brown, 46, according to the complaint. The transactions were made at Brown's residence in the 2900 block of N. Richards St. with the help of Aaron M. Foss, 20, who drove Berge to Brown's residence almost every day up to her death, according to the complaint. Sheriff's deputies interviewed Foss earlier this month, the complaint says.

Berge started purchasing up to $300 worth of heroin after she received a school loan, the complaint says.

Berge's mother called 911 after she could not get a response and Berge was pronounced dead in her bedroom after attempts to resuscitate her were unsuccessful, the complaint says.

If convicted of first degree reckless homicide Brown faces up to 40 years in prison and $100,000 in fines.

Ottawa residents get 2008 tax bill in the mail

Dec. 19, 2011 10:44 a.m. | Ottawa - About 3,500 tax bills from 2008 were mailed to Town of Ottawa property owners last week in error, but the contract printer who shipped the wrong ones mailed corrected ones on Saturday.

Town Clerk-Treasurer Melissa Klein said her phone started ringing at home Saturday morning and it hasn't quit since because of the error. One person paid the erroneous bill - which was higher than this year's amount due - and a credit will be issued, she said.

Across the board, taxes for the town, county, schools and technical college are lower this year than in 2008, she said.

Klein said she provided the information to Waukesha County, which uses a private contractor to print and mail tax bills for 34 of the county's 37 municipalities.

Larry Dahl, a financial specialist with the county's Department of Administration, said the town supplied envelopes, tax bill inserts and a duplicate set of the town's 2008 bills. The printer stuffed the 2008 bills in the envelopes rather than the 2011 set of bills it had printed. The firm noticed a spare set of 2011 bills when the job was done, notified the county on Friday and immediately prepared a new mailing with an explanation.

Former Nashotah fire chief dies

Dec. 19, 2011 8:56 a.m. | Village of Nashotah – Retired village Fire Chief Richard Hagemann, who was instrumental in the consolidation of three Lake Country fire departments, died Saturday morning at AngelsGrace Hospice in Oconomowoc, according to Lake Country Fire and Rescue Chief Jack Edwards.

Nashotah Village President Richard Lartz said Hagemann was admitted to the hospice Friday. He had been suffering from pancreatic cancer, according to Lartz.

In the late 1990s, Hagemann was instrumental in convincing Nashotah and Chenequa elected officials and residents that they should consolidate their village fire departments.

He also helped convince Nashotah village officials to construct a new fire station that would be large enough to accommodate future consolidation of the newly created Lake Country Fire Department.

About a decade later, preparing to retire as chief of the Lake Country Fire Department, Hagemann helped advise the Lake Country Fire Board and the City of Delafield in the creation of what would become Lake Country Fire and Rescue, which is entering its third year of serving the communities of Chenequa, Nashotah and the City of Delafield.

» Read Full Article

North Prairie church offers special annual service

Dec. 16, 2011 9:53 a.m. | North Prairie United Methodist Church, 107 North Main Street, North Prairie, will hold its annual Service of Hope and Light on Sunday, Dec 18, at 4 p.m. 

The service is for those who find it difficult to celebrate Christmas because they have experienced the loss of a loved one, a divorce or other difficult circumstances.  The non-denominational service will focus on the hope in the midst of suffering.  All are welcome. 

North Prairie looks like the Dickens this Saturday

Dec. 16, 2011 12:00 a.m. | If you want to experience an old-fashioned Christmas this weekend then head to the prairie – North Prairie, that is.

The sleepy little town on Highway 59 just west of Waukesha turns into a Victorian Christmas wonderland from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday.

Greet folks dressed in Victorian costumes and elves scurrying around on their last-minute rounds. The sound of clip-clopping hooves means a bouncy horse and buggy ride is in the offing. And what would the holiday season be without the merry songs of carolers who will be strolling down Main Street.

All of downtown will be in a holiday mood.  Take a break at Sports Page, Tenerelli’s, Lucy’s and ZaZing! for holiday food and beverages. Try a handful of free prairie popcorn and a cup of hot cocoa at Fun Rental while watching elves race for prizes.

At St. John’s Lutheran Church, you’ll find a craft and baked goods fair plus make-and-take ornament and cookie decorating stations for kids. Find everyday gifts and gift certificates at Deanna & Friends, Bill’s Mini Mart, JAKs and L&M Auto.

» Read Full Article

Names of Mukwonago fire victims released

Dec. 15, 2011 3:47 p.m. | April A. Smart, 66, has been identified as the victim of a fatal house fire in the Town of Mukwonago around 12:30 a.m. yesterday morning, according to Town of Mukwonago Police. The fire occurred on Road X.

The Waukesha County Medical Examiner's Office conducted an autopsy and determined Smart died from soot and smoke inhalation.

Smart's daughter, Dina L. Puerner, 42, was taken to Waukesha Memorial Hospital for smoke inhalation. She is reportedly still in the hospital, and her condition is unknown.

Police report that the Village of Mukwonago Police Department received a 911 call from the residence altering them to the fire, and that the caller complained of having difficulty breathing. Upon arrival, the first officer found the house engulfed in flames and Puerner in the driveway.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation by the Waukesha County Sheriff's Department and state fire marshal, but does not appear to be suspicious at this time.

» Read Full Article

UPDATED: Judge declares Siepmann killer not responsible

Dec. 15, 2011 2:05 p.m. | A Waukesha County Circuit Court judge committed Richard Wilson, 17, of Fox Point, to life in a state mental health facility this morning. Wilson was charged with killing his grandfather, Ronald Siepmann, 78, of the Town of Merton, on May 8.

Wilson pleaded guilty to first degree intentional homicide, but Judge William Domina found him not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect. The teenager originally entered an insanity plea in September, but changed his plea to guilty at the Thursday morning hearing.

Domina made the determination based on a report from Dr. Deborah Collins, a psychiatrist and the head of the state’s forensics unit. Her report indicated that at the time of the murder, Wilson was not able to discern right from wrong, nor could he “appreciate the wrongfulness of his conduct”.

Thus, Wilson pleaded guilty to committing the murder, but the judge found him not mentally responsible for his actions at the time. The Wisconsin Department of Health and Human Services will now place Wilson in a state mental health facility for life, but according to Waukesha County District Attorney Brad Schimel, Wilson could eventually petition for his release.

According to the criminal complaint, the teenager’s mother said her son suffers from schizophrenia. Dr. Collins’s report indicated that Wilson began suffering from psychotic disorders in the fall of 2010.

» Read Full Article

Waukesha police arrest 2 in carrier tip scam

Dec. 15, 2011 1:26 p.m. | Waukesha police have arrested two men in connection with a scam aimed at cheating newspaper carriers out of holiday tips from their customers.

Capt. Ron Oremus said one of the men, who is 41 and from Pewaukee, has been referred to the Waukesha County district attorney for possible charges of theft by fraud and mail fraud. That suspect was a Journal Sentinel carrier until being fired after the scam came to light last week.

The men are accused of circulating letters to customers of other carriers in Waukesha County in an attempt to get these customers to send money to a post office box. Oremus said hundreds of dollars were sent in by people thinking they were tipping their own carriers. The second suspect's name appears on these letters. He is 33 and lives in Hartford.

Should Gov. Walker be recalled?

Dec. 15, 2011 1:22 p.m. | Organizers say they have gathered more than 500,000 signatures in their effort to recall Gov. Scott Walker. (Read more here. How do you feel about the it? Have you signed a petition? Do you oppose the recall? Weigh in with your comments on our website forum here.

More charges possible for Ixonia couple

Dec. 15, 2011 12:25 p.m. |

Waukesha – More charges against an Ixonia couple accused of breaking into vehicles in several communities are expected to be sent to the Waukesha County District Attorney’s Office for its review.

Michael Hoeft, 32, and Noelle Lane, 27, both of W209 McMahon Road, were charged Dec. in Waukesha County Circuit Court with multiple felony counts of misappropriate identification information to obtain money and bail jumping.

According to the criminal complaint, the couple entered vehicles in the cities of Oconomowoc and Delafield, the villages of Pewaukee, Hartland and Wales, and the Town of Oconomowoc from October and November. The couple was out on bail at the time from burglary and theft charges regarding incidents they were allegedly involved with in the Town of Oconomowoc during August.

The couple are currently being held in Waukesha County Jail and are scheduled to appear in court later this afternoon for a preliminary hearing.

» Read Full Article

Judge declares Siepmann killer not responsible

Dec. 15, 2011 12:11 p.m. | A Waukesha County Circuit Court judge has sentenced Richard B. Wilson, 17, of Fox Point to a mental facility for killing his grandfather, Ronald Siepman, 78, of the Town of Merton on May 8. Wilson originally entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity in September, and a judge ordered a psychological evaluation.

This morning, Wilson changed his plea, and said he was guilty of committing the murder.

The judge said that was the first phase of today's hearing, and in the second phase, after considering the doctor's report, he declared Wilson not mentally responsible for his actions. He ordered him sent to a state mental health facility.

According to the criminal complaint, Wilson's mother said her son suffers from schizophrenia.

Wilson was accused of using an ax to bludgeon Siepmann to death as the family gathered at his home for a Mother's Day celebration. Siepmann was the founder of Siepmann Realty 

» Read Full Article

Town of Mukwonago holds first of two gun safety courses this Saturday

Dec. 15, 2011 12:00 p.m. |  The Town of Mukwonago will be hosting the first of two scheduled gun safety courses from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17.

The course was designed to meet Concealed Carry requirements, and provide additional revenue to the town. 

Competencies and learning objectives will include: recognizing the state's process for obtaining, maintaining and renewing a concealed carry weapons (CCW) permit; accepting responsibility for firearm safety; analyzing considerations surrounding carrying a concealed weapon; and discussing the legal implications of carrying a concealed weapon.

The cost for the course is $95 for residents and $105 for nonresidents.

Reserve a spot by calling the Town of Mukwonago Police Department at (262) 363-5188.

Teen accused of killing grandfather in court Thursday

Dec. 14, 2011 3:08 p.m. |  

Waukesha – Richard Wilson, who allegedly murdered his grandfather, Ronald Siepmann, on Mother’s Day, is scheduled to appear in court Thursday for a report about his mental health.

Wilson, 17, of Fox Point, is charged with killing Siepmann, 78, with an ax at Siepmann’s Town of Merton residence. In September, Wilson entered a plea of not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect. A judge ordered Wilson to be evaluated regarding the special plea. A psychologist report has been completed and will be discussed at the hearing.

According to the criminal complaint, Wilson’s mother told police her son suffers from schizophrenia. Wilson was evaluated this summer by a court-appointed psychiatrist, who determined Wilson was competent to stand trial.

$10,000 distributed to veterans at Oconomowoc dealership

Dec. 14, 2011 1:19 p.m. | Oconomowoc - The nearly $10,000 raised during the 2011 Patriot Tour will be
distributed to 13 families during ceremony on Friday at Wisconsin Harley-­Davidson,
1280 Blue Ribbon Drive.
The awards of approximately $700 each will go to nine Milwaukee-­area families and to families in Baton Rouge, La., Yankton, S.D. and San Antonio, Texas, organization officials announced on Wednesday.
Approximately 150,000 riders nationwide participated in the 2011 Patriot Tour, transporting the American flag on the back of a motorcycle through the continental 48 states between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
Since 2010 Wisconsin Harley-­Davidson has been the national dealership sponsor of
the Patriot Tour, hosting both the flag launch and homecoming events each year and working with dealerships around the country to host and facilitate flag transfer ceremonies.
“We are honored to be able to share the funds raised from the 2011 Patriot Tour
with these 13 families,” said Bill Sherer, founder and executive director of the Nation of Patriots.
“Pride and honor often keep those who need it most from asking for assistance, but we know that their sacrifices are more than deserving of this help and so much more.”

To read a story about the Patriot Tour, click this link,

Mukwonago Library opens for business in new facility

Dec. 14, 2011 12:43 p.m. |  

Chris Stape mans the reference desk at the newly expanded Mukwonago Community Library as patrons use computers as the library reopened today in its new facility. Watch next week's Mukwonago Chief for a look at the history of the library as it grew to accomodate the community. 

KM Golden Lasers to hold holiday lunch on Friday

Dec. 14, 2011 12:00 p.m. | The Kettle Moraine Golden Lasers invite all community members, 55 and older, to join them at their next gathering on Friday, Dec. 16 at 11:30 a.m., at the Brandybrook Community Center,  S11W29980 Summit Avenue in Wales. 

A holiday luncheon will be served followed by a musical performance by Wales Elementary music students.  For further information, or to make a reservation, please contact Kelly Donaldson at the Community Education Office, (968) 6273 ext. 5326.


Update on fatal fire in Mukwonago

Dec. 14, 2011 8:29 a.m. | Town of Mukwonago - Investigators are still trying to uncover the cause of a house fire that occurred early Wednesday morning claiming the life of one woman.

Town of Mukwonago Sergeant Kevin Schmidt said the initial 911 call police received at 12:20 a.m. was for a female having trouble breathing. However the call quickly escalated to a fire call he said.

When police arrived at the home at S63 W31504 Highway X, smoke and flames were visible. Schmidt said one female was standing in the driveway and another was still inside the home. Schmidt said an officer attempted to gain entry to the home to help the woman but could not.

When the fire department arrived, Schmidt said they found the female dead inside the home and the other woman was transported to Waukesha Memorial Hospital for smoke inhalation; her condition is unknown. Authorities are not releasing names. He added that there were three cats in the home, but it is unsure whether the cats escaped.

» Read Full Article

One dead in Genesee house fire

Dec. 14, 2011 7:32 a.m. | One person is dead and another was hospitalized after a fire at a Town of Genesse home last night.

Read more here and watch for a story in Thursday's Kettle Moraine Index.

Cooney's unbeaten run halted

Dec. 13, 2011 11:31 p.m. | Oconomowoc's boys basketball team incurred its first loss of the year, falling to Oregon on Tuesday at home, 62-46.

Zach Poker battled foul trouble to still deliver 18 points and 10 rebounds, but a balanced Oregon team shot better than 63 percent in the second half and 52 percent for the game, thanks in large part to superb ball movement and a disappointing defensive effort in the eyes of Cooney coach Kurt Melton.

The Raccoons (4-1) were never closer than five points in the second half. An Oregon banked 3-pointer at the third quarter buzzer from three-quarters court was one of the final daggers.

Dakota home safe but not 'out of woods' yet

Dec. 13, 2011 2:52 p.m. | Wildlife In Need Center staff shared a much-anticipated update on great horned owl, Dakota, after his recovery from the wild last week.

After his rescue on Dec. 7 WINC staff said he was dehydrated and very thin.

"Dakota had lost a total of 27 percent of his body weight, eliminating not only his fat reserves but moving on to deteriorate his muscle tissue as well. He was given a full physical exam by his veterinarian who also drew blood for testing and oversaw the administration of subcutaneous fluids," according to a WINC press release sent Tuesday, Dec. 13.

The tests confirmed his fragile condition. Wildlife Rehabilitator, Mandy Feavel said, “that his PCV (packed cell volume) levels were low enough to consider Dakota slightly anemic and that his dehydrated state was also confirmed by the elevated kidney values they found.”

Other tests did rule out the existence of any parasites that his already weakened system would have to fight off during recovery. The complete results from this examination made it clear that Dakota was at risk of suffering from refeeding syndrome. Because of this he was prescribed a treatment plan of fluids only.

» Read Full Article

KMSD teacher named Wisconsin history teacher of year

Dec. 13, 2011 12:20 p.m. |  Terry Kaldhusdal, a fourth grade teacher at Magee Elementary School in the Kettle Moraine School District, has been named the 2011 Wisconsin History Teacher of the Year.  The award is co-sponsored by The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, the History Channel and Preserve America. 

Kaldhusdal will receive a $1,000 honorarium and will be in the running to be named the National History Teacher of the Year.  Magee Elementary School’s library will also receive a core archive of history books and educational materials in honor of Kaldhusdal.  The Kettle Moraine School District honored Kaldhusdal at the Dec. 13 Board of Education meeting.

Join the Sing and Shop Flash Mob at Delafield Dollar Tree on Saturday

Dec. 13, 2011 12:06 p.m. | Impact Christian Ministry will be providing a Sing and Shop Toys for Tots Flash Mob on Saturday, Dec. 17 at 12:30 pm at the Dollar Tree, 2740 Heritage Drive, Delafield.

The group will sing "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" while shopping and request that all who attend spend a minimum of $2 on toys that will be donated to Toys for Tots.

Contact Sahia at with any questions.

Wold eating again, to have strength to profess innocence

Dec. 13, 2011 11:48 a.m. | Daren Wold said in a jail interview Tuesday that he's back to eating so he'd have enough strength to tell the news media he is innocent of plotting the murder of his ex-girlfriend, Kimberly Smith.

Wold, 43, and his longtime friend Jack Johnson, 68, were convicted by a jury Nov. 3 of hiring Justin Welch to kill Smith, 39, who was stabbed to death in her Oconomowoc home in 2009. Welch pleaded guilty and testifed against the two men.

Wold did not testify at trial, but said Tuesday he had nothing to do with killing Smith, with whom he was in a custody dispute over their then-6-year-old son.

"Why would I want her killed? She's the mother of my son," Wold said over a 30-minute video interview at the Waukesh County Jail where he awaits sentencing Dec. 20.

He said certain evidence that wasn't admitted at trial would have raised more doubt about his role. He pointed to a hand-written list of expenses he said he had while living in Texas in 2090 that explain money prosecutors said went to Welch.

» Read Full Article

Two school board seats open next year in Mukwonago

Dec. 13, 2011 10:52 a.m. | With the deadline for declaring non-candidacy approaching on Dec. 23, two of three Mukwonago School Board members with terms ending next April have turned in non-candidacy papers.

Mukwonago Area School District Board of Education members Paul Wysocki and John Bularz have filed papers stating they will not seek re-election to the Board. Board member Rodell Singert will seek reelection for another term next spring, according to MASD Superintendent Paul Strobel.

The notification for non-candidacy creates two vacant school board seats, one At-Large seat and a vacant Western seat. 

The deadline to file declarations of candidacy and campaign registration statements by individuals interested in running for the school board is Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2012 at 4:30 p.m. Papers for filing for candidacy are available at the district office.

Wysocki and Bularz were both elected in 2000.

Mukwonago to return grant

Dec. 13, 2011 7:54 a.m. | The Town of Mukwonago plans to return a $506,000 grant intended to help resolve flooding in the Country Bliss subdivision after being unable to come up with an appropriate solution to the problem. Read more in this week's Mukwonago Chief.

Mukwonago band may be next national act

Dec. 13, 2011 4:00 a.m. |  Four Mukwonago High School graduates are working their way to the national music scene with their band Herman Astro. 

Band members Zachary Pluer, Cody Calderon, Eric LeMieux, and Adam Dosemagen  attribute their local success to their small town roots; something they are confident will work in their favor once they make it big. 

Read more about the band, their music, how Mukwonago influenced them, and what their dreams for the future are in tomorrow's Mukwonago Chief. 

Mukwonago Library closed during move

Dec. 12, 2011 4:17 p.m. |

  Leslie and Brandt Komas help transfer books from shelves to a moving cart on Dec. 10 as the Mukwonago Community Library moved to its new expanded facitility while Andy Swenson assembles new shelving units with Anchor Moving System at the expanded library. The library is closed Monday and Tuesday for moving and will reopen in the new facility on Wednesday, Dec. 14. 

You might want to rethink this gift ...

Dec. 12, 2011 8:00 a.m. | A puppy under the tree with a big red bow sounds like a perfect greeting card photo opportunity. But experts say that might not be such a great idea.

Read the story in the Tuesday Lake Country Reporter and Oconomowoc Focus to hear from local "pet people."

Man dies in single-car crash in Town of Lisbon

Dec. 10, 2011 1:42 p.m. | A man died in a car crash Friday night in the Town of Lisbon, according to the Waukesha County Sheriff's Department.

Authorities responded at 8:34 p.m. Friday, and the lone driver was pronounced dead on the scene, the department said. The accident was on Lynndale Road west of Bayberry Lane; the westbound car left the roadway, struck a large tree and overturned. Speed appeared to be a factor in the crash, the department said.

The man's name was being withheld pending identification and notification of family, according a news release from the department. Sheriff's officials could give no additional information Saturday afternoon.

Cudahy rolls over Pewaukee girls

Dec. 09, 2011 11:04 p.m. | The Pewaukee girls basketball team met its match in state-ranked Cudahy on Friday, falling in a rare lopsided defeat, 63-42.

The Pirates took a 15-9 lead in the first quarter but surrendered a 15-0 run, and the Packers held control of the game the rest of the way. The Pirates cut the deficit to six points early in the fourth quarter at 49-43, but Pewaukee never scored again and Cudahy closed on a 14-0 run.

Senior Jordyn Swan left the game late in the third after taking a hard fall and landing on her tailbone, further complicating any comeback efforts. She stayed down under the basket for 10 minutes before walking off gingerly.

Taylor Gradinjan, one of the state's top seniors, scored 19 points for Cudahy. The Pirates fell to 2-2 and 2-1 in league play.

OHS shakes off cold first halff

Dec. 09, 2011 9:31 p.m. | Oconomowoc''s varsity girls basketball team didn't shoot well in the first half on Friday, but was able to ovvercome it against Wisconsin Lutheran.

The Raccoons defeated the Vikings 48-40 in a Wisconsin Little Ten Conference game.

Mandy Prom scored 25 points for the winners. Carly Hall scored 10 points and both helped shave time off the clock in the late stages of the game when Wisconsin Lutheran had  to chase and foul to stop the clock.

"I told the team at halftime to only be down two points with the way we shot was amazing," OHS head coach Bob Shey said. "In the second half we played defense and took care of the ball and that was key."

Christmas Praise Service offered at Mukwonago Church

Dec. 09, 2011 1:17 p.m. | Orchard Hill Assembly of God, formally New Life Community Church, N9590 Hwy. ES, will hold a Christmas praise service on Sunday, Dec. 11 at 9:30 a.m. The service will feature festive Christmas music, fellowship, an inspirational message along with cookies and refreshments to follow the service. 



Packer travelers leave extra time for road construction

Dec. 09, 2011 1:05 p.m. | The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) Northeast Region is reminding motorists heading to Lambeau Field on Sunday, Dec. 11 for the Green Bay Packers/Oakland Raiders football game that the road construction season continues on most major roads in Northeast Wisconsin. While most projects will stop and two lanes of traffic will be open, drivers might still encounter road conditions in the work zones that could cause backups.  


WisDOT strongly recommends motorists allow themselves additional time to reach their destinations. 


Here is a list of the major roads in northeast Wisconsin most Packers fans will be traveling and the road conditions they should anticipate:

» Read Full Article

Delafield firm's president guilty of tax evasion

Dec. 09, 2011 12:06 p.m. | A retired Hartland businessman who appears to have become an ardent tax protester in 2005  faces up to 15 years in prison after a federal jury found him guilty Thursday of three counts of tax evasion.

James A. Stuart, 68, claimed income of just $631 for 2005, and didn't even file returns for 2006 and 2007, according to the U.S. Attorney's office. Stuart had been indicted in December, and was tried this week in federal court in Milwaukee.

Stuart, president and majority owner of New Age Chemical in Delafield, actually earned more than $900,000 those years and owed more than $200,000 in federal income taxes, the U.S. Attorney's office indicated. A receptionist at the company said Friday that Stuart had retired a couple years ago.

According to court records, Stuart had filed normal tax returns until 2005, when he stopped, and also began filing amended returns from prior years seeking refunds of all taxes paid. About the same time, he began similar tax battles over his state income tax and Waukesha County property taxes.

He tried to change his status at New Age from employee to consultant, retitled an $80,000 1959 Corvette to his daughter, and took other steps to avoid taxes, according to prosecutors.

» Read Full Article

Emergency crews at Delafield Park and Ride

Dec. 09, 2011 11:24 a.m. | City of Delafield - Emergency response teams from the City of Waukesha, the Waukesha County sheriff's office and Lake Country Fire and Rescue remain at the scene of an apparent suicide at a park and ride located near Highway 83 and Interstate 94.

A spokesman for the Waukesha County Sheriff's office said they received a call of an apparent suicide in the parking lot near Milwaukee Street and Highway 83 ,adjacent to the Naga-Waukee Park indoor ice skating arena, at about 7:30 a.m.

Lt. William O. Deering said he could not provide additional information because the investigation of the incident was not completed and next of kin of the victom had not been notified. He also said he was not sure what prompted authorities to call the City of Waukesha Fire Department's hazard materials response team.

Waukesha Fire Department Deputy Chief Steve Ore said the hazemat unit was summoned at about 9:30 a.m. by Lake Country Fire and Rescue. The city department provides regional hazardous material response.

A spokeswoman for Lake Country Fire and Rescue said she could not elaborate on why the hazmat unit was called because command authorities with the department were still at the scene. Lake Country Fire and Rescue serves the City of Delafield as well as the villages of Chenequa and Nashotah.

» Read Full Article

Do you know your neighbors?

Dec. 09, 2011 7:00 a.m. | Meet one of your Lake Country neighbors when you read our Q&A with Food Pantry of Waukesha County's Karen Tredwell of Pewaukee in this weekend's Living Lake Country Sunday.

Breakfast tastes better with Santa

Dec. 09, 2011 12:00 a.m. | The holidays can be a stressful time with endless lists of things to do and things to buy in our mad ironic dash to make the season merry.

That’s why it’s nice to step back for a couple hours and just let those magical moments come to us, rather than thinking we need to create them.

A fun way for families to carve some time for themselves is to start the weekend with something festive, like a hearty breakfast with Santa at St. Charles Parish, 313 Circle Drive in Hartland.  The breakfast, which includes pancakes, sausage, applesauce and family style dessert plate, is from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. Saturday.

Children can bring their lists for Santa since there’s still plenty of time for his elves to have them ready by Christmas. Parents can have a keepsake for years to come when their children have their pictures taken with Santa. Kids will also have a chance to do their own shopping at the Secret Santa Gift Shop.

And so as not to forget the true reason for the season, a living Nativity will present the Christmas story.

» Read Full Article

Richards get five years in prison for hiding murder victim

Dec. 07, 2011 5:19 p.m. |

A judge this afternoon sentenced James Richards, 19, formerly of Oconomowoc, to five years in prison for hiding the body of Beau Butschke, 28, of Ixonia, who was murdered July 14.

Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge Randy Koschnick also ordered Richards to five years of extended supervision to follow his prison sentence.

Richards met James T. Richardson, 51, of Ixonia, on July 13 at a gas station in the City of Oconomowoc. The following day Richardson shot and killed Butschke, his neighbor. Richardson and Butschke had a long standing dispute.

After Richardson murdered Butschke he and Richards took Butschke’s body to a storage shed in Ixonia. Richardson and Richards then went to Butschke’s residence where they drank his beer and ate his food.

» Read Full Article

Election plans for Behrend, Sadowski

Dec. 07, 2011 12:51 p.m. | City of Delafield - While one prominent city resident has announced he would not seek election to the Common Council; another one, who holds a county elective office,said he would seek election as alderman.

Waukesha County Register of Deeds James Beherend said he will run for alderman in the newly created Second  Aldermanic District. Beherend was elected to one term on the council and two terms as mayor in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

He says he sees no conflict between his full time duties as county register of deeds and the part time position of alderman. Former Register of Deeds Michael J. Hasslinger served for years as a member of the Town Board and later the Common Council in Pewaukee.

The Second Aldermanic District is presently represented by Ald. Beth Leonard who cannot seek reelection because she will no longer reside in the district following the 2012 municipal elections. Her home will be part of the First District represented by incumbent Jeff Krickhahn.

New aldermanic districts were created following the 2010 federal population census. The new Second District includes residential neighborhoods near the downtown business district and along the south east and central shore lines of Lake Nagawicka.

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Big Bend Police receive DOT grant

Dec. 07, 2011 12:00 p.m. |  The Big Bend Police Department has been awarded an Alcohol Enforcement Grant by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation – Bureau of Transportation Safety (WI DOT-BOTS) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). This grant provides funds for additional patrols designed to detect and enforce alcohol impaired drivers. 

Additionally, the Big Bend Police Department will be partnering with the Muskego Police Department to provide ‘high visibility enforcement’ patrols during all of the state-wide driving safety campaigns.  The first campaign, “Booze and Belts” will run from Dec. 9 to the 17.  Officers from both departments will provide a concerted effort in enforcing traffic laws, specifically in the areas of impaired driving and seat belt usage. 


 Last year in Wisconsin, there were more than 40,000 convictions for drunken driving, and almost 120,000 convictions for failure to fasten safety belts.  By teaming up with partners throughout the state, such as Muskego Police, WI DOT-BOTS and NHTSA, the department hopes to make this a safe holiday season.  Going forward in 2012, the additional patrols will continue in an effort to obtain the goal of preventing traffic deaths.     

Dakota, missing owl safely returned

Dec. 07, 2011 11:45 a.m. | Dakota - an educational owl that was taken from the Wildlife In Need Center (WINC) three weeks ago - has returned home, according to a news release from WINC.


At about 7:30 a.m., staff members captured the great horned owl.

On Monday staffers searching for Dakota confirmed his presence at a site that has been monitored since early last week.

At 6 a.m. today, staff was called to the site, where he had reportedly been seen sitting on a rear deck. When staff arrived he was still there, but was startled and flew when approached. His flight was noticeably impaired, according to the release, which noted the owl stayed close to the ground and at close range.

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Oconomowoc Winter Farmers Market Sunday

Dec. 07, 2011 9:04 a.m. | Shop from area farmers this weekend at the third indoor winter farmers market of the season.

The Oconomowoc Chamber and Greener Oconomowoc host the market from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Sunday Dec. 11 at Oconomowoc Landscape Supply and Garden Center’s greenhouses, N68 W37850 Highway K.


Some of the items offered include: handmade gourmet truffles, gourmet toffee, herb-infused oils, vinegars, salts and sugars, apple butter and apple sauce, pickled mushrooms and green beans, artisan cheeses, meats and breads, handmade soaps, bath products, hand and lip balms, dried flower arrangements and more.

To read a story about the indoor market, visit

Town of Mukwonago to meet on Country Bliss funds

Dec. 06, 2011 4:00 p.m. |  

 The Mukwonago Town Board will met at 6 p.m. Dec. 7 to discuss the fate of the $506,000 grant the town received to provide a permanent solution to flooding problems in the Country Bliss subdivision. With the grant money expiring at the end of this year, the town must decide what to do with it. 

The town has been trying to find an affordable and feasible solution since May of this year, but have so far been unable to do so. 

Look for an update on the outcome of the meeting in the Dec. 14 edition of the Mukwonago Chief. 

Ewald plans to expand dealership in Oconomowoc Lake

Dec. 06, 2011 11:02 a.m. | Ewald Chevrolet Buick in the Village of Oconomowoc Lake is planning an expansion and remodel according to documents filed with the village.

The dealership at 36833 Wisconsin Ave. is planning to enlarge and remodel its showroom and offices and plans to add additional vehicle delivery stalls.

In order to move forward with the expansion, the dealership must have modifications made to a conditional use permit issued by the village.

A public hearing on modifying the conditional use permit is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday at Village Hall, 35328 Pabst Road. Oconomowoc Lake is in northwestern Waukesha County.

Chicken hearing on tap tonight

Dec. 06, 2011 9:46 a.m. |

Town of Delafield – Town officials will be holding a public hearing at 7 p.m. at Town Hall regarding an ordinance that would allow residents to keep chickens.

The Plan Commission has been discussing such an ordinance for several months after one town resident was found to be raising chickens on a residential property.

Numerous other area communities have such an ordinance as do major cities in the United States.

Community rallies around family displaced by fire

Dec. 06, 2011 7:52 a.m. | Community leaders are trying to reach out to help Daniel and Yolanda McCamma, while fire officials are determining the cause of the blaze that destroyed their home last Wednesday on Clover Drive in the Eagles Ridge subdivision in Sussex.

Read more in this week's Sussex Sun

Santa spreads holiday cheer in Mukwonago

Dec. 05, 2011 4:21 p.m. |  

Santa and Mrs. Claus greet parade watchers during the Mukwonago Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Center's Midnight Magic parade on Dec. 3. Watch for more coverage of the event in the next Mukwonago Chief.

Town of Mukwonago police investigate fatal accident

Dec. 05, 2011 3:08 p.m. | The Town of Mukwonago Police Department is investigating a fatal accident that occurred about 3:38 p.m. on Saturday on Highway I at River Road.

Police were called to the scene where 56-year-old Mukwonago resident Kathleen Rodenbeck was pronounced dead from injuries suffered during the rollover accident. Rodenbeck's 2001 Pontiac mini-van was found against a tree on the south side of the roadway.

Highway I near the scene was closed for about six hours as police conducted their investigation.

The cause of the crash is still under investigation.

Rodenceck's obituary will appear in this Wednesday's Mukwonago Chief.

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Urgent needs in Lake Country

Dec. 05, 2011 7:56 a.m. | A group of community members and area churches are working to address homelessness in Lake Country.

According to Chris Miles of the Oconomowoc Urgent Needs Fund (OUNF), the organization has applications from 110 households that are either homeless, have been homeless or are at risk of being homeless, and in need of some aid. Those households include 106 children and 166 adults, Miles said.

See more in Tuesday's Lake Country Reporter and Oconomowoc Focus.

Mukwonago filling with the holiday spirit this afternoon

Dec. 03, 2011 3:02 p.m. |  Streets are filling with folks in the holiday spirit during the Mukwonago Chamber of Commerce's Midnight Magic this afternoon in the Village of Mukwonago. 

Events scheduled for the rest of the day include:

10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Enchanted Gingerbread Forest gingerbread contest (The Garden Mart)

4 p.m. to 10:45 p.m. Carriage rides (Field Park) $5 per person/$15 per family

9 p.m. Fireworks 

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Pewaukee boys rally past West

Dec. 03, 2011 9:44 a.m. | Pewaukee's varsity boys basketball team rallied back from an early 12-4 deficit Friday night to defeat visiting Waukesha West in the first game of the Woodland Conference season, 58-44.

The Pirates outscored West 18-6 in the second quarter and never looked back.

Senior guard Kray Bradley fired in 28 points to take game scoring honors. Bradley had scored 58 points in the last two games. Austin Cairo came off the bench and nailed three 3-pointers, finishing with 9 tallies.

Dan Sidesky had 24 points for West.

Pewaukee girls survive scare from West

Dec. 02, 2011 10:29 p.m. | New Berlin West's girls basketball team led most of the night, but Pewaukee senior Jordyn Swan hit two free throws with 13.9 seconds left, lifting the Pirates to a 44-42 victory in the Woodland Conference opener Friday night.

West kept the Pirates off balance most of the game, taking a lead as large as eight points in the first half and seven in the second half. Emily Wirth hit a 3-pointer with 2:14 left to give PHS a 36-35 lead -- their first of the game -- but West's Stephanie Turner answered with a jumper to give West the lead back. Turner finished with 16 points.

Brittany Groer's old-fashioned 3-point play gave PHS the lead back with 1:36 to play, 39-37, and Wirth hit three free throws in four attempts to make it 42-39 with 35.2 seconds to play. West re-tied the game on an Anne Kaczynski triple with 24 seconds left, but Pewaukee pushed the ball down the court after the ensuing timeout, and Swan drew contact with her look from the block.

A last-ditch 3-pointer by West fell short. Both teams emerged from the contest with 1-1 records.

AHS girls win basketball opener

Dec. 02, 2011 9:32 p.m. | Arrowhead's varsity girls basketball team opened the 2010-11 season Friday night by defeating visiting West Allis Central in a nonconference game, 56-51.

AHS rolled to a 35-22 lead at halftime and led by as many as 17 points. In the second half they struggled, allowing Central to get to within three points (54-51) with 9.6 seconds to play. Two free throws by sisters Kelly and Jenny Smith in the final 7.1 seconds iced the win for the Warhawks.

Jenny Smith fired in 17 points to lead the winners. Amanda Bauer and Kyle Davis had 10 points apiece.

Central was led by UW-Green Bay recruit Mehryn Kraker who fired in 24 points.

Johnson gets life without parole in Smith murder

Dec. 02, 2011 1:51 p.m. | Waukesha - Jack Johnson, found guilty in the murder of Kimberly Smith of Oconomowoc, was sentenced Friday afternoon to life without parole by Judge James Kieffer.

Johnson's attorney Mark Rosen, said he has already filed paperwork to appeal the sentence.

Kieffer repeatedly asked Johnson how he valued human life before he gave the sentence of life in prison. Family of Smith, including her sister, spoke giving a very emotional testimony with lots of tears. They played a slide show of Smith's life. At one point, Johnson turned to look at Smith's sister while she spoke, but other than that, remained still and emotionless during the proceedings.

Johnson, 67, of Mexico was convicted last month of conspiring with longtime friend, Darren Wold, to hire Justin P. Welch, 28, of California, to kill Smith. Wold and Smith share a son and were engaged in a bitter custody dispute.

Wold is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 20, but prosecutors would like to have him sentenced sooner after recent behavior engaging in a hunger strike. (Visit,, for more on this story).

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Street light confirmed misplaced during Hwy. 83 construction causing power outage Tuesday

Dec. 02, 2011 10:51 a.m. |  The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT) has confirmed that a light pole was indeed misplaced resulting in a power outage for around 2,000 Town of Mukwonago customers Tuesday morning as a power line swing in the high winds and shorted upon contact with the pole near Highway I and Highway 83.

The outage began around 6 a.m. on Tuesday and lasted around 50 minutes for the 2,000 WE Energies customers, and an additional 50 customers were without power for around 70 minutes. 

The DOT states that the pole has been removed for now, and will be repositioned. 

Check the Dec. 7 edition of the Mukwonago Chief for more information. 

Helping Hands Food Drive benefits local food pantries

Dec. 02, 2011 8:06 a.m. | Mukwonago residents can drop off non-perishable food items at Mukwonago Family Chiropractic, 225 Bay View Rd., Suite 400, during business hours through Dec. 15 for the Wisconsin Chiropractic Association’s 2011 Helping Hands Food Drive to help food pantries during the holiday season when they have a critical need for food. All items collected during the drive will be donated to local food pantries.

O Christmas Tree!

Dec. 02, 2011 7:32 a.m. | Still looking for that perfect Christmas tree for the family to enjoy this holiday season? Lake Country's got you covered! Check out our list of local tree farms in this weekend's Living Lake Country Sunday.

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