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Menomonee Falls School Board approves new health insurance plans

Oct. 29, 2012 8:36 p.m. | After numerous discussions, the Menomonee Falls School Board on Monday officially approved the district's health benefit plan that will offer employees three options with varying deductibles and employee premiums.

Open enrollment for the new benefit plans will begin Jan. 1 as the district moves to self-funded insurance through Humana, its current carrier.

The proposed employee premiums are set so the School District's contribution is the same under all three plans. By changing to self-funded health insurance, the district could save up to $750,000; however, the total savings will depend on which plan employees choose and their health care spending throughout the year.

Preventive care is covered 100 percent in all three plans, according to School District documents.

Plan one is a traditional preferred provider organization plan and most similar to the employees' current insurance plan, with the exception of adding in-network coinsurance.

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Child, man are crticially injured in crash

April 17, 2015 9:43 p.m. | A child and a 30-year-old man, both from Milwaukee, were critically injured Friday when the vehicle they were in crashed into the rear of a dump truck on Wasaukee Road between Ozaukee and Washington counties, authorities said.

According to Mequon police and Germantown Fire Department officials, the crash was reported shortly before 4 p.m. at the intersection of Wasaukee and Highland roads.

A 56-year-old Mequon man traveling west in a small dump truck pulling a utility trailer was stopped at a stop sign at Wasaukee Road when the rear of the trailer was struck by a van driven by the Milwaukee man.

When first responders arrived at the scene, bystanders were removing the two victims from the van, which had rolled over into a ditch.

The man and child in the van were critically injured and flown to hospitals by Flight for Life helicopters.

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Germantown School Board members call modular classrooms a "band-aid," call for permanent solution

April 17, 2015 10:38 a.m. | Germantown — It's looking a bit more likely that the Germantown School District may pursue a more permanent solution for adding space at Rockfield Elementary School.

The board is waiting on final cost estimates for the short-term modular classroom solution before they make a final decision whether to pursue the permanent addition of classrooms to the overcrowded school. But as they wait, board members are speaking out against what some are calling a band-aid to a larger problem.

"I don't have an appetite for something modular," said board member Brian Medved. "I think we need to take a look at a the big picture; we need to consider everything before we throw money away, and I think (using modular classrooms) would be throwing money away."

The board has for several months been considering both modular and permanent solutions, keeping in mind both the immediate and long-term needs of children at the school, where staff has already gotten creative with solutions like having music classes in the library and other student work time in hallways and vestibules.

While modular classrooms could be ready for use by the start of the 2015-16 school year, board member Michael Loth said he's not sure waiting as little as one more semester for a permanent solution is worth the trouble.

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Germantown school district survey yields support for pool, solutions to elementary overcrowding

April 17, 2015 9:13 a.m. | Germantown — The results are in and the need for a pool, a vested interest in addressing overcrowding in elementary schools and support for improvements to aging buildings and technology were among the most popular items on a recent survey done by the Germantown School District.

The district received about 1,130 responses that Superintendent Jeff Holmes said demonstrate an overwhelming amount of support for a referendum to address a number of issues.

"I think (the results show) that (residents) want to invest in our schools," board member Brian Medved said. "They see the value in that."

The survey included almost 40 questions targeted at gauging support from district taxpayers on providing additional funding for things such as renovations to or the addition of elementary schools, upgrades to aging buildings and technology, and an investment in a new auditorium.

In addition to what Holmes called "very positive" responses regarding doing something long-term to address overcrowding in elementary schools, almost 90 percent of those who responded said they would support funding for a pool in the village.

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Waukesha, Washington counties at "very high" fire danger risk

April 16, 2015 2:23 p.m. | Germantown — Dry conditions are putting the entire state of Wisconsin on high alert for wildfires.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources indicates conditions in Waukesha and Washington counties are creating a "very high" risk of fire.

All other Wisconsin counties are also at "very high" risk except Racine, Kenosha, Milwaukee and Ozaukee, which are classified one level lower at "high" risk.

One grass fire spanning about 5 acres was reported and subsequently contained recently in Germantown near Bonniwell Road and Country Aire Drive, an incident that has prompted Germantown Fire Chief Gary Weiss to urge residents to use common sense when it comes to burning in the area.

"If anybody is burning they need to be extremely careful," said Weiss. "They should stay by the fire, keep a hose nearby and make sure the area around it is safe."

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Former Falls Village President Jefferson Davis loses son, has grandson within 36 hours

April 16, 2015 1:38 p.m. | Menomonee Falls — "Our baby boy couldn't wait to celebrate his amazing daddy's life," said Anastasia Davis, following the recent birth of her second child, Andrew.

Davis is the widow of former Village President Jefferson Davis' son, Aaron, who died after a driver fleeing police ran two red lights and plowed into him and a co-worker of his as they left work around 2 a.m. April 11.

Almost exactly 36 hours later on April 14, his second child Andrew was born at a healthy 7 pounds, 9 ounces and 20.5 inches long.

"He is a healthy and beautiful boy," said Anastasia in a statement. "We are both doing great...Thank you everyone for your continuing love and support."

Aaron Davis, 31, was headed home her from his job as head chef at a popular St. Petersburg, Florida, restaurant, Kitchen St. Pete. Sadly, he never made it home.

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Pilgrim Road off-ramps in Menomonee Falls to close in both directions April 20

April 16, 2015 1:33 p.m. | Menomonee Falls — Get ready for some long-term changes to your commute.

Starting on Monday, April 20th the off-ramp from Highway 41/45 to Pilgrim Road will close in both directions. Detours will be posted.

The ramp closure will also impact the flow of traffic on Pilgrim Road reducing it to one lane of traffic in both directions.

An official with the Department of Transportation says it will not impact access to local businesses, and it is all part of the reconstruction project of Pilgrim Road.

The ramps are expected to reopen late this fall.

Gehl Foods' owners give employees generous gifts as company is sold

April 15, 2015 8:03 p.m. | The day Gehl Foods in Germantown was sold, Chief Executive Katherine Gehl handed data-entry employee Samantha Larson an envelope. Larson figured it was some kind of thank-you note.

"I actually didn't open up the card until later," Larson said.

When she did, she nearly fell over. "I almost was in tears," she said.

Inside the envelope was a card worth $10,000 — $5,000 for Larson's 401(k) plan and $5,000 extra for her next paycheck.

Larson and every other full-time employee at Gehl Foods received the $10,000 gifts from the Gehl family.

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Mother, daughter threatened at gunpoint in attempted carjacking outside JoAnn Fabrics in Menomonee Falls

April 14, 2015 10:26 a.m. | Menomonee Falls — A woman and her four-year-old daughter came face to face with a long-barreled gun in an attempted carjacking in Menomonee Falls on April 13.

Police responded to calls near JoAnn Fabrics shortly before 11 a.m. reporting an attempted armed robbery carjacking in the parking lot of North Pointe Shopping Centre in the W14500 block of Appleton Ave., according to a news release.

Initial investigation revealed that the passenger of a tan Pontiac Bonneville approached a vehicle occupied by a 34-year-old woman and her four-year-old daughter. The man is described as black male between 20 and 23 years of age, 5"8" – 6'0" tall with a slender build wearing a black hoodie pulled up and tied tight around the face and black jeans, according to the release.

"The victim while in her car observed the suspect armed with long barreled gun approach the rear driver's side of her car through a rear view mirror," the release said. "The suspect attempted to order the victim out of her vehicle. Fearing for her safety and that of her daughter, she immediately placed her vehicle in drive and sped away to a safe location where she eventually called 911."

Multiple witnesses were located, identified, and interviewed. Witnesses reported observing the suspect vehicle and the two occupants exit the North Pointe Shopping Centre in an unknown direction. The driver was described as black male wearing a black hoodie. Witnesses report that the suspect vehicle had a Wisconsin registration plate with the first four characters being 534-X of a six character plate.

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Aurora plans $38 million conversion of Germantown offices to clinic

April 14, 2015 7:00 a.m. | Aurora Healthcare Inc. is proposing the conversion of its Germantown office building to a medical specialty and diagnostic clinic.

The $38 million project will convert a 76,595-square-foot building, at W180 N11070 River Lane, according to an Aurora statement.

The clinic's services would include orthopedics, cardiology, women’s health, oncology, outpatient surgery, medical imaging and a laboratory. It would serve approximately 350 patients daily, with 140 staffers.

The three-story building now houses around 300 Aurora administrative employees. They will relocate to other facilities in the region.

Renovations at the building are to begin in August, and are expected to take a year to complete. 

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Two Germantown manufacturers plan expansions

April 13, 2015 2:49 p.m. | Two manufacturers located near each other in Germantown Industrial Park are planning to expand their buildings.

Sunlite Plastics Inc. has submitted plans to village officials for a 51,640-square-foot expansion of its 109,860-square-foot building at W194 N11340 McCormick Drive, according to a village Department of Community Development report.

Sunlite makes plastic tubing products for the medical industry. It has 80 employees.

The company’s president, Brant Stanford, owns two adjacent parcels totaling 9.8 acres, south of the current building, according to the report. The proposal calls for combining the parcels to construct a separate building that will be connected to the existing manufacturing and warehouse facility by an enclosed corridor.

Executives at Sunlite Plastics couldn’t be reached for comment. 

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Tazino's closes three locations, Menomonee Falls remains open

April 13, 2015 2:18 p.m. | Menomonee Falls — Tazino's lovers in Menomonee Falls need not fear the restaurant closing, at least for now.

The all-you-can eat pizza, salad and pasta bistro was rumored to have closed on April 10, in addition to the St. Francis-based business' locations in Pleasant Prairie, Oak Creek and downtown Milwaukee.

A manager at the Menomonee Falls location confirmed that they were "rolling out dough balls and have pizzas in the oven" within an hour of lunchtime on April 16. He directed questions to a customer care line and email address. Several calls and emails to the referenced number and email address were not returned.

Visitors to the Menomonee Falls restaurant the week following said there were no signs of any changes.

"I ate there on Tuesday (April 14) and everything was running as it always does," said Tiffany Dedering, of Menomonee Falls. Dedering and her family are frequent patrons of the restaurant and said there were no signs of the business closing when she was there. "Everything seemed to be running business as usual."

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Diamond Stone headlines 2014-15 All-Suburban Boys Basketball team

April 13, 2015 11:55 a.m. |

Player of the Year

Diamond Stone, 6-10 center, Dominican

McDonald's All-American capped perhaps the most decorated career in Wisconsin history with a fourth state championship. ... Averaged 24.4 points per game on 67 percent shooting, with 11.7 rebounds per game. ... Shot 74 percent from the free-throw line and finished with 74 blocks. ... Wrapped up his career north of 2,000 points. ... Career highlights include the only triple-double in state-tournament history, recorded as a freshman. ... Posted two double-doubles in the state games this year. ... Racked up 43 points and 18 rebounds against Division 1 foe Racine Case in the regular season. ... Committed to Maryland.

Story: Dominican's Diamond Stone left a mark that will be remembered for decades

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Gehl Sponsorship takes Germantown performing arts pavilion a big step closer to becoming a reality

April 13, 2015 11:23 a.m. | Germantown —A historical family business in Germantown has stepped up to help a local cause.

Less than a month after announcing that Gehl Foods has been purchased by Chicago-based private equity firm Wind Point Partners, the Gehl family on April 15 announced their $100,000 sponsorship, in addition to a $25,000 donation from Gehl Foods, for what will be called The Gehl Foods Performing Arts Pavilion.

"As the lead donor for this project, our family is thrilled to have this opportunity to give back to the Germantown community and thank them for being such a great place to do business for over a century," said Katherine Gehl, former CEO of Gehl Foods. "The performance pavilion will be a wonderful, long-lasting addition to the Germantown community, serving as an ideal venue for a variety of community programs and events."

The Germantown Kiwanis Club, which has been the driving force behind the project, has been conservative with the time frame primarily due to the $400,000 price tag for construction, Germantown Kiwanis President Dwane Ketterer said he is happily surprised with the support the project has received.

"The generosity and commitment that the Gehl Family brings to this project is just what we need to spearhead this exciting project for the community," Ketterer said. "We are eagerly looking forward to celebrating their support of this great project and community development."

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Man who died in Germantown fire is identified

April 13, 2015 10:58 a.m. | The man who died in an early morning blaze Saturday in Germantown was identified Monday as David D. Umhoefer, 43.

The Germantown Fire Department was called to a fire in a two-story townhouse on Legend Ave. before 4 a.m. Saturday. Firefighters found Umhoefer in cardiac arrest inside the home.

He was taken to Community Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Umhoefer was alone in the house. Damage was estimated at $65,000.

The cause and origin of the fire remain under investigation, the fire department said Monday.

Former Falls Village President's son dies in tragic Florida car accident

April 13, 2015 10:14 a.m. | Menomonee Falls — Former Village President Jefferson Davis' son, Aaron, has died after a driver fleeing police ran two red lights and plowed into him and a co-worker of his as they left work around 2 a.m. April 11.

Aaron, 31, was headed home to his pregant wife — who is due to have their second child on April 15 — from his job as head chef at a popular St. Petersburg, Florida restaurant, Kitchen St. Pete.

But he never made it home. Instead, he and co-worker Brian LaFrance were struck by 25-year-old driver Jason Mitchell, who is now charged with vehicular homicide, drunken driving manslaughter and fleeing and eluding police among other things, according to a news release from the St. Petersburg Police Department.

Mitchell was speeding as he evaded police following an attempted traffic stop before he struck Aaron and LaFrance, who was treated at a nearby hospital and is now in stable condition, according to the release. Aaron was pronounced dead at the scene.

Aaron is the son of Jefferson Davis, a longtime resident of Menomonee Falls who served as village president from 2003 to 2005. A call to Jefferson was not returned as of press deadline.

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