Kokta's free throws lift Oak Creek girls to upset of top-ranked De Pere

Nov. 25, 2011 11:07 p.m. | "Hey, tell Dan I told him thanks!" laughed Oak Creek girls basketball coach Steve Hluchnik as he prepared to join his team for the ride home from Brookfield Central Friday night.

Hluchnik was laughing loudly at that moment, because his rebuilding Knights had just pulled off a major upset in Central's 23-team Thanksgiving Shootout as guard Morgan Kokta hit two free throws with just .9 of a second remaining to lift Oak Creek to a 37-35 victory over De Pere, which had been ranked number one in state division I pre-season polls.

Hluchnik's opening rejoinder was in sharp contrast a few weeks earlier, when he learned that his old pal Lancer coach Dan Wandrey had paired his thinner than usual team against the powerful Redbirds in this season-opening tournament.

"I think I said 'Thanks for nothing,' at the time," said Hluchnik with a big grin.

But despite being without graduated all-state center and UW-Green Bay recruit Ashley Luke and veteran point guard Cydney Weisflog, the Knights showed little sign of nerve as they gained some powerful momentum entering the 2011-12 camapign.

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Late rally lifts Brookfield East past Franklin boys, 64-61, in season opener

Nov. 23, 2011 10:33 p.m. | Green as grass and with bales of turnovers and missed free throws to its credit, the Brookfield East boys basketball team turned to the two experienced hands it could trust Wednesday night in its season opener at Franklin.

And when junior guards Brian Smith and Ryan McBride scored back-to-back hoops in a matter of seven seconds very late in the fourth quarter, the Spartans had turned a 61-60 deficit into a 64-61 victory.

"They're the only two guys we have back with any varsity experience," said East coach Andy Farley. "Ryan had been in foul trouble most of the game (only 11 minutes played all told) so we ran that last play through Nick (Kanavas) and then Brian (Smith) finishes (to take the lead) and then Ryan (McBride) steals the in-bounds and hits another lay-up."

"I just couldn't be more pleased with the way we executed at the end of the game."

Meanwhile, Franklin coach Tim Hogan, who also has much rebuilding to do after an excellent 2010-11 campaign, couldn't help but be a little discouraged after the Sabers lost a four-point lead in the last 2:26.

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Mayor will veto budget due to fire and police personnel concerns

Nov. 23, 2011 2:14 p.m. | Mayor Tom Taylor plans to veto the city budget because it reduces the budgets of the fire and police departments by $100,000 each.

The cuts to those departments mean the loss of personnel, Taylor said, and Fire Chief James Martins said he would likely lose two firefighters and would have to periodically close Fire Station No. 2 at 9911 S. 60th St.

Taylor said council members made the cuts believing that the unions representing city firefighters and police officers would make health insurance concessions voluntarily, even though their contracts are not up until the end of 2012. Martins, meanwhile, said there would be no guarantee.

"I think certainly they are very dedicated to the community," Martins said. "I'm sure they would consider that. But whether they would or not, I couldn't say."

Taylor said on Tuesday night council members could override his veto with four votes. If they do not, the city would have to deliberate a new budget or accept the one he presented to the city's Finance Committee. That spending plan kept the fire and police departments' budget intact but called for eliminating a city planner and building inspector position.

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Tell us what Brookfield’s best hotspots are

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

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

Hales Corners sees small rise in village taxes

Nov. 23, 2011 10:22 a.m. | Residents with a house valued at $227,000 will pay $28 more a year in property taxes, under a budget approved Tuesday night by the Village Board.

That amount reflects a 1.8 percent increase in the tax rate. This year's rate was $6.94 per $1,000 of equalized value; next year, the rate will be $7.07.

The levy supports a 2012 spending plan of $7.9 million, an increase of 2.5 percent over this year's budget of $7.7 million. Property taxes, for village purposes, will increase by 4.8 percent, from $4.7 million this year to $5 million next.

Because state aid is declining, Village Board member expressed dismay that assuming added fiscal responsibility would negatively impact taxpayers.

Case in point: The state has reduced its recycling funding to the village by 35 percent. The result is an 11 percent increase - to $193.74 a year - in refuse collection fees homeowners would pay.

NOW newspapers to be delivered Friday this week

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

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

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

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

Cudahy police arrest suspect in stabbing incident

Nov. 15, 2011 2:50 p.m. | Cudahy police arrested a 37-year-old man who had fled into a house Tuesday after allegedly stabbing a 26-year-old man in the chest in a residence in the 3700 block of E. Van Norman Ave.

The arrest ended a standoff that had begun around 6 a.m. with a 911 cellphone call about a stabbing, police said.

Melissa Maker, the Cudahy Police Department's public information officer, said in a news release that the victim was found stabbed in the backyard of the residence and was transported to Froedtert Hospital in Wauwatosa. The suspected assailant also was injured in the quarrel that preceded the stabbing and also was transported to a hospital, Maker said. The condition of the victim and the suspect was not released.

Police said the stabbing was not a random act - the victim and suspect knew each other. No one else was injured, police said. A nearby school, Lincoln Elementary School, was placed on lockdown until the suspect was arrested.

Coal ash spill poses no health threat, DNR says

Nov. 11, 2011 3:50 p.m. | Tests of coal ash and Lake Michigan water samples collected after the Oct. 31 bluff collapse and coal ash landslide at We Energies' Oak Creek Power Plant found no significant threat to public health or safety, state Department of Natural Resources officials said Friday.

Even coal ash that might have washed ashore south of the power plant on beaches in Racine County is so diluted and dispersed that it would not harm someone touching the material, said Ann Coakley, director of the DNR's waste and materials management bureau.

"While having coal ash get to Lake Michigan is certainly a cause for concern, the amount of environmental risk in this situation is small," said Lloyd Eagan, DNR water leader for southern Wisconsin.

"Water quality at the spill site is close to the normal water quality of Lake Michigan," Eagan said. "Outside the spill site, the water quality is normal. There will not be long-term impacts to the aquatic environment once the spilled material is removed."

Test of water collected close to shore within a floating containment boom found levels of iron and aluminum only slightly higher than normal concentrations in the lake, according to Eagan.

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Sierra Club signals intent to sue We Energies after bluff collapse

Nov. 09, 2011 4:40 p.m. | The Sierra Club on Wednesday took the first step toward suing We Energies for violations of state environmental permits as a result of the bluff collapse and landslide that sent coal ash into Lake Michigan last week.

A 1950s-era landfill of coal ash, created when ash and dirt were used to fill a ravine, gave way at the construction site for the utility’s air pollution control system.

The notice of intent was served on We Energies Wednesday, as a precursor to an enforcement action that would be filed in federal court in the coming months, said Jennifer Feyerherm of the Sierra Club in Madison.

“We want to make sure that it’s cleaned up,” she said.

The notice of intent to sue alleges that the pollutants in the coal ash at the bottom of Lake Michigan “pose an imminent and substantial endangerment to human health and the environment.”

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Dunham's opens Franklin store on Friday

Nov. 09, 2011 9:15 a.m. | Dunham's Sports will open a new store at Franklin Town Center, at 6525 S. 27th St., at 9 a.m. Friday.

Dunham's is leasing 39,000 square feet at a former Jewel-Osco store,

Dunham's, based in Waterford, Mich., has over 150 stores in 12 Midwestern states, including five other stores in southeastern Wisconsin.

We Energies creates hotline to report debris from bluff collapse

Nov. 07, 2011 12:22 p.m. | Tools and other debris washed ashore after last week's bluff collapse and landslide at the Oak Creek Power Plant, and a hotline has been set up for residents to report debris sightings.

The U.S. Coast Guard is continuing to look for signs of debris washing up on the shoreline as well as for fuel sheens. The Coast Guard has not found evidence of fuel sheens either in the immediate area or along the coastline, We Energies said.

We Energies said Monday it has activated a hotline for residents to report any debris that they have seen. The hotline number is (877) 380-0522. The hotline was already in service to handle questions from local residents about the utility's power plant construction projects.

The Coast Guard found no other debris, but some residents have reported debris along the shoreline, and We Energies spokesman Brian Manthey said the utility has had teams collecting debris that washed ashore in recent days.

Employees of the cleanup firm hired by We Energies, Clean Harbors, collected debris from the beach and shoreline near the plant, including at a Caledonia park that is just south of the plant, utility spokesman Brian Manthey said. That includes tools and other small pieces of debris.

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Vote on your favorite Wauwatosa places

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

You did.

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

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

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

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Bluff collapse blamed for discharge of 200-plus truckloads of ash, soil

Nov. 04, 2011 10:02 p.m. | An estimated 2,500 cubic yards of coal ash and soil - enough to fill more than 208 large dump trucks - was pushed into Lake Michigan in Monday's bluff collapse and landslide at the We Energies' Oak Creek Power Plant, a state environmental official said Friday.

The slide carried 25,000 cubic yards of ash and soil down the slope and about 10% of the load washed into the lake, said Ann Coakley, director of the waste and materials management bureau for the Department of Natural Resources.

Samples of coal ash and lake water were collected this week for testing to determine the environmental impact of the ash slide, officials said. Tests will show the levels of heavy metals and other contaminants in the ash.

Test results were not available Friday, Coakley said.

The plume of ash, soil and debris left behind in the wake of Monday's landslide stretched 120 yards long and up to 80 yards wide. The slide is immediately south of a $900 million air quality control facility under construction at the power plant. The building was not damaged.

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Ash, debris from bluff collapse removed

Nov. 03, 2011 5:56 p.m. | Workers Thursday removed all coal ash, soil and construction debris closest to Lake Michigan from Monday's bluff collapse at the We Energies' Oak Creek Power Plant, spokesman Brian Manthey said.

No estimate was available of the amount of ash and soil scooped off the shoreline from the widest part of the plume left behind in Monday's destructive landslide. The mix of ash and soil is being disposed of at a landfill on the power plant property, he said.

A contractor completed building a stone berm about 100 feet west of the shore early Thursday, enabling cleanup crews to begin work east of the berm.

Large debris, such as sections of a storage building destroyed in the mudslide and container units, were pulled out of the muck and dropped into garbage containers, Manthey said.

On top of the hill, south of the slope carved by Monday's landslide, workers on Thursday hooked cables to a total of four sheds and storage containers and pulled the structures farther south to prevent them from falling down the slope, Manthey said.

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Hampton developer seeks city financing in Franklin

Nov. 03, 2011 7:00 a.m. | The developer of a 101-room Hampton Inn and Suites proposed for Franklin has approached city officials to see if public financing assistance might be available.

The Common Council went into closed session at a recent meeting to discuss the possibility, but took no action.

Developer Ed Eldrige had hoped to begin construction in 2009, but the slow economy has apparently affected those plans. Eldridge didn't return phone calls seeking comment.

The Hampton would be built on 2 acres that Eldridge owns west of S. 76th St. and south of W. Loomis Road.

Dunkin' Donuts opens Thursday in Oak Creek

Nov. 02, 2011 8:00 a.m. | A new Dunkin' Donuts opens in Oak Creek, at 2345 W. Ryan Road, previously a Dunn Brothers Coffee Shop, at 5 a.m. on Thursday.

It is the second outlet for the Milwaukee Coffee Brewing Co., a partnership of six Dunkin’ Donuts franchisees which together operate more than 370 Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants on the East Coast.

The partnership, which opened a Dunkin’ Donuts in Menomonee Falls in May, plans to open 36 new Dunkin’ Donuts in southeastern Wisconsin over the next five years. That includes previously disclosed plans for Whitefish Bay and West Milwaukee

South Milwaukee Walmart wins final approvals

Nov. 02, 2011 7:00 a.m. | Plans to develop a Walmart supermarket and discount store in South Milwaukee won another round of votes before the Common Council Tuesday night.

The council, on a series of 6-2 votes, gave final zoning approval to the plan, as well as final approval to vacate one block of 11th Ave. to allow two parcels to be combined for the 115,000-square-foot store.

The council also voted to create a certified survey map for the development site. The store will be built on 10 acres west of Chicago Ave., and one block south of College Ave.

Those votes came two weeks after the council granted preliminary zoning approval, and gave final approval to provide up to $1.8 million in city funds to help finance the $12 million project.

The project has drawn opposition from hundreds of residents, especially those living near the development site.

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Muskego netters rally for epic sectional semifinal win over Franklin

Nov. 01, 2011 10:54 p.m. | The great "Star Trek" parody "Galaxy Quest" had a motto that it used over and over throughout the course of the hilarious movie.

"Never give up, never surrender."

But even the Tim Allen-led crew would have said "Enough already!" and surrendered long before the Muskego boys volleyball team ever thought about doing so against host Franklin in a noisy and exciting WIAA sectional semifinal Tuesday night.

The Warriors were down two games to one in the best of five match and 21-16 in the fourth game before scoring seven straight points and rallying to tie the match at two games each with a 29-27 decision.

Then in the play-to-15 fifth game, Muskego found itself with its back against the wall at 14-10. All the Warriors did then, was fight off four match points, score seven of the match's last eight points and pull out an improbable 25-23, 15-25, 28-30, 29-27, 17-15 decision that put the team on the verge of its first-ever WIAA state tournament berth.

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Collapsed bluff got pass from state regulators

Nov. 01, 2011 9:02 p.m. | Oak Creek - State environment regulators gave We Energies a pass in 2008 - exempting it from certain rules so that construction work could be done atop coal ash landfills on a bluff on the Lake Michigan shoreline at the utility's Oak Creek Power Plant, officials said Tuesday.

Department of Natural Resources officials determined in 2008 that construction activities on an ash-filled ravine and other small landfills south of the utility's two plants on the property would not increase the risk of the ash or other contaminants getting into the lake, said Frank Schultz, the department's waste supervisor in Milwaukee. We Energies is building an air quality control facility for the older power plant at the site.

State environmental and utility regulators at the time decided that the construction activity would not significantly damage the environment, so no impact studies were needed.

Work progressed until Monday, when a wide section of the bluff, including part of an ash-filled ravine, collapsed, sending a destructive cascade of mud down the slope and into the lake. No one is certain of the extent of the environmental damage, DNR officials said.

The ravine was filled in the 1950s.

» Read Full Article

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