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Crews investigate 'suspicious' house fire in Menomonee Falls

Nov. 06, 2012 12:41 p.m. | A house fire that erupted early this morning extensively damaged a two story, single family residence on Claas Road, causing about $90,000 in damage.

No one is currently living in the vacant home. The cause of the fire that was reported at 12:48 a.m. at W136 N6870 Claas Road is considered "suspicious," said Menomonee Falls Fire Chief Jeffrey Hevey.

Crews from the Menomonee Falls Fire Department and Police Department were still on scene as of noon today investigating the fire.

Fire crews from Germantown, Butler, Lannon and Elm Grove responded to assist Menomonee Falls firefighters with putting out the blaze.

An update on the cause of the fire will be available later in the week.

Updated rankings of area prep boys and girls basketball teams and players

Menomonee Falls High School alumna bikes 15,000 miles for charity

11:10 a.m. | Menomonee Falls — They have had a close encounter with a grizzly bear. They have met the first man to have cycled across six continents. They have shared an RV for a night with a Latvian documentary star and seven-time biathlon champion. They have stayed up all night sharing stories and playing poker at a mushroom-picking camp.

And they are only about 2,000 miles into their 15,000-mile bicycle journey from Anchorage, Alaska, to Ushuaia, Argentina.

Menomonee Falls alumni Megan Wycklendt and her Scottish friend, Gordon Dunlop, recently crossed the United States border on their bike trip to raise awareness and money for poverty alleviation.

"We both share a passion for travel, adventure, embracing foreign cultures and supporting causes for positive change in the world," said Wycklendt, who met Dunlop in 2011 while volunteering with a local Peruvian NGO, Pisco Sin Fronteras.

The duo planned the journey mostly via Skype for three years, before departing from Alaska in August. When asked for the "why" behind the trip, Wycklendt asked "why not?"

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Three to be added to Menomonee Falls High School Wall of Recognition

10:56 a.m. | Menomonee Falls — An accomplished doctor and two chief executive officers will join the ranks on the Wall of Recognition at Menomonee Falls High School this year.

A sincere sense of giving back in a variety of ways is the common denominator that has earned William Domann, Jr., Tom Gross and Jacquelyn Marie (McLees) Paykel a place on the Wall of Recognition, according to creator Dick Woosencraft.

"I know all of this year's inductees personally, and they are all very special people," said Woosencraft, who created the Wall of Recognition, Fine Arts Hall of Fame and Athletic Hall of Fame in his final year as principal at the high school.

Now in its 12th year, the wall features alumni who have accomplished powerful things since they walked the school halls.

The public is invited to attend as this year's inductees are honored at halftime during the boys varsity basketball game Friday, Dec. 11, at the school, W142N8101 Merrimac Drive. There will also be a reception following the game in the school media center.

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Germantown High School Key Club supports cause for ending world hunger, obesity

10:17 a.m. | Germantown — When Germantown High School junior Emily Li was a child, she would spend summers in Harbin, China, with her extended family. While she fondly remembers these times, they carry with them a startling memory Li said will stay with her always.

"Harbin is a particularly large city in the north, well-known for being the industrial capital of the nation, along with its staggering number of urban poor," she said. "Every couple of meters on a busy road, there would be homeless without limbs, with children or collapsed from exhaustion."

Li said she was always told to look away, to avert her eyes and look at another stretch of sidewalk.

"It's almost a reflex now," she said.

But that's all about to change.

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Getting to know Dennis Farrell

Nov. 24, 2015 1:03 p.m. | Menomonee Falls — He came for what he and his wife thought would be the best care they could find for their son with autism.

Now almost 50 years later, former longtime trustee and founder of the Menomonee Falls Neighborhood Watch Dennis Farrell said he stayed in Menomonee Falls for a very simple reason: it feels like family.

We sat down with Farrell recently to discuss his years of service to the village and get to know the man behind what has developed into a nationally recognized Neighborhood Watch program a little better.

Why did you choose to live/work in Menomonee Falls?

One of the main reasons we moved here is that we have an autistic son and we knew the care and education he would have here would be better than anything else we were. It was the early days of special education, but there was a program Menomonee Falls Center for Children with Learning Problems. Most people called it Waters' school because it was run by Phyllis Waters. We came to like the village atmosphere; the whole friendliness of the village and a community that people want to help and give information and be part of something.

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Scion Dental awarded the management of 650,000 through Maryland Healthy Smiles program

Nov. 24, 2015 12:48 p.m. | Menomonee Falls — Rapid growth in 2015 has helped a Menomonee Falls-based dental benefit management company earn national recognition.

Scion Dental announced earlier this month that it has been awarded a contract by the State of Maryland's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) to manage dental benefits for the roughly 650,000 Medicaid members in the Maryland Healthy Smiles Dental Program (Maryland Healthy Smiles).

Once the contract becomes active in January, Scion Dental will be managing benefits for more than 10 million covered across Medicaid, Medicare and commercial payer programs in more than 65 markets.

One of three dental benefit management organizations competing for the contract, Scion Dental was selected as a result of having both the highest technical scores and the lowest bid, according to a news release.

"Managing Medicaid benefits is very different from managing commercial benefits," said John Schaak, president of Scion Dental. "It requires a very specific level of knowledge and a very particular set of skills."

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Germantown girls basketball team will build around Schmitz

Nov. 24, 2015 12:37 p.m. | Consider the situation for two-time North Shore Conference champion Germantown girls basketball coach Matt Stuve.

The game is now 36 minutes long as opposed to 32, 2015 Now Player of the Year and WBCA All-State selection Taylor Higginbotham is tearing it up for Western Illinois University (56 combined points in her first three games) while her running mate Val Meissner is starting for Lake Superior State, and overall numbers because of specialization are not what they should be.

But he still has 5-foot-10 junior guard Kenzie Schmitz and that is a very good thing, indeed.

"It's sort of like Aaron Rodgers having sat behind Brett Favre," said Stuve of the relationship between Schmitz and Higginbotham. "Then he turned into quite a player. Kenzie now has the chance to step out of the shadow. Her fall workouts have been tremendous, she's benching 170 pounds and squatting 320 and the kid can really get off the ground."

Indeed, as Schmitz was a state-level sprinter and jumper for the powerhouse Warhawk girls track team this past spring.

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Menomonee Falls girls basketball team getting more experience every day

Nov. 23, 2015 10:19 p.m. | Like the new 18-minute halves and 36-minute games everyone in prep hoops is dealing with this season, veteran Menomonee Falls girls basketball coach Craig Amundson is not going to go into serious critical assessment of his team just yet, despite a competitive 0-2 start to the season.

"It's definitely different (of the new playing format)," he said, "but I'm a physics guy. I don't want to evaluate things after just a game or two."

The vastly-more-experienced Indians lost tough decisions to Catholic Memorial, 68-58, on Nov. 17 and then a 67-63 overtime game to Milwaukee Riverside on Nov. 21.

But the challenging start did give Amundson a hint of what it'll be like to work with this team that is far more experienced than it was a year ago but that is still young (most of the team is made up of juniors and sophomores).

Top returnees include 5-7 junior guard Madison Grzesiak (10.8 ppg. last season) and 5-8 junior guard Marissa Igunbor (11.5 ppg.). Other key experienced hands include 5-6 sophomore guard Lexi Boram, 5-7 junior guard Karly Volz (6.6), 5-10 junior forward Alyssa Marks and 6-0 forward Jessica Boerner.

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Transit service may drop bus loop to Germantown Industrial Park

Nov. 23, 2015 3:38 p.m. | The Milwaukee County Transit System would end bus service to the Germantown Industrial Park south of Freistadt Road in December due to low ridership, under a proposal to be reviewed next month by the County Board's transportation committee.

Route 61 buses travel an 8-mile loop from the Germantown Walmart on Appleton Ave. into the Industrial Park 12 times a day on weekdays to serve shift changes at manufacturing employers.

No more than seven riders a day take advantage of the industrial park service, MCTS Managing Director Dan Boehm said in a report to the transportation committee.

MCTS started Route 61 service in Milwaukee, Waukesha and Washington counties on Jan. 18 as one way for residents of the north side of Milwaukee to commute to jobs in Menomonee Falls and Germantown.

Ridership along the remaining route — generally from N. 34th St. and W. Capitol Drive to the Walmart north of County Line Road — has steadily increased to 700 passengers a day, according to Boehm.

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Momentum Early Learning to open by year-end in Germantown

Nov. 22, 2015 8:48 p.m. | Germantown — Families in the Germantown area will soon have a new option for child care.

Slated for completion by the end of the year, Momentum Early Learning will be opening its new 12,500-square-foot location within Stonewood Corporate Center.

Located on an almost 3-acre parcel at W175 N11037 Stonewood Drive, the facility will offer child care for up to 140 children between the ages of six weeks and 12 years from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

After five successful years at the first child-care center in Sussex, owner James Marriott has said he would like to see the same "higher standard in care and learning" brought into the Germantown community for their second location.

Prompted in part by the growth of the Sussex location, the facility will feature a full-day pre-kindergarten program, webcam technology in the classrooms and a large multi-use space that will be used both as a cafeteria and for gross motor play.

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Shady Lane Elementary offers students buddy bench on playground

Nov. 22, 2015 8:40 p.m. | Menomonee Falls — It is not a slide or a jungle gym, but some students at Shady Lane Elementary would argue this is better than that.

There is a new addition to the playground at Shady Lane where students can hang out with their friends. While the new feature known as a "buddy bench" is not a new concept to schools, the one at Shady Lane has a particularly strong emotional meaning to the family who donated it.

"I love Shady Lane School," said Stephanie Schneider, mother of Shady Lane fifth-grader, Chris. "When Chris' grandpa got sick a couple years ago, we talked about how much he loved Shady Lane School and wanted to do something very special to honor Shady Lane School and my dad."

If a student every feels left out or like they have no one to talk to, they can go sit on the buddy bench, and other students can join in to make sure that student doesn't feel left out, Schneider explained. The bench is located on the northeast side of the school next to the playground.

"It is a safe place that you can sit on during recess if you feel that you may have no one to play with or talk to or even walk around the playground with," Schneider said. "As a school community, it is our responsibility to watch out for each other and to make sure everyone was included."

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Three seats on Germantown School Board up for election in April

Nov. 22, 2015 3:35 p.m. | Germantown —Three seats are up for election on the Germantown School Board in April.

Voters may vote for at-large seats 2, 4 and 6 on Tuesday, April 5. A primary will be held Tuesday, Feb. 16, if necessary.

The seats, which each have three-year terms, are currently held by incumbents Bruce Warnimont, Brian Medved and Michael Loth.

Nomination papers may be filed as late as 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 5 at the district administrative offices, N104 W13840 Donges Bay Road.

Kohl's, Bartolotta team up to service Menomonee Falls corporate campus

Nov. 22, 2015 3:27 p.m. | Menomonee Falls — Kohl's Corporate will soon begin offering a new standard in food service to its employees.

The company recently announced they will be partnering with The Bartolotta Restaurants to manage the food service operations at its corporate campus in Menomonee Falls.

"As part of our commitment to being an employer of choice in southeastern Wisconsin, Kohl's provides amazing benefits and services to our associates," said Jen Johnson, Kohl's vice president of corporate communications. "Known for its quality dining experiences, outstanding service and hospitality, The Bartolotta Restaurants will manage food service at Kohl's main corporate headquarters as well as Kohl's Innovation Center, both located in Menomonee Falls."

In addition, Kohl's will also be remodeling its associate dining environment in partnership with Bartolotta's. Those efforts should be completed in fall of 2016, Johnson said.

Alto-Shaam granted Patriot Award for support of employee in the National Guard

Nov. 20, 2015 12:43 p.m. | Menomonee Falls — A Menomonee Falls-based company has earned a high honor from the Department of Defense.

Alto-Shaam, which has its world headquarters in Menomonee Falls, was recently honored with a Patriot Award in recognition of the company's extraordinary support of one of their employees who serves in the Wisconsin Army National Guard.

The award was presented to Steve Maahs, chief operations officer and president of Alto-Shaam, in recognition of the company's support of 1st Lt. Ben Blacklock, who serves in Company D 2nd Bn 127th Infantry, located in Marinette.

The Patriot Award is presented to employers who not only hire guard and reserve members but who also demonstrate superior support to the military employee and his/her family, explained Mike Williams, chairman of the Wisconsin Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Committee, an agency of the Department of Defense.

"The National Guard and Reserve Forces are the cornerstone of our national defense," Williams said. "Alto-Shaam has provided outstanding support and cooperation and has exhibited a patriotic spirit, which is reflected in the significance of being a recipient of the Patriot Award."

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Germantown High School students earn $100,000 grant for teen driving safety efforts

Nov. 20, 2015 12:19 p.m. | Germantown —Students and staff at Germantown High School received exciting news today. The school was one of 11 schools in the country selected to receive $100,000 in the national Celebrate My Drive competition.

Germantown students shot, edited and starred in a 30-second video spot as part of a State Farm contest that promotes safety for teen drivers. Voting took place earlier this month.

Money from the grant will be used continue funding safe driving initiatives, like the Every 15 Minutes program, as well as for student-determined initiatives.

To view the video and see the Fox 6 news story on the contest, click here.


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