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Blodorn to resign from School Board, hired by District

Dec. 18, 2012 1:40 p.m. | Menomonee Falls School Board Member Lori Blodorn will resign from the School Board within the next few weeks as she accepted the position of human resources manager within the School District.

Blodorn, whose Board seat is open in the spring election, will replace the current Human Resources Manager Ken Kuberka.

According to the District, Blodorn will officially start her new job in January.

The School Board will also decide in January how to handle the vacant seat. The Board can either appoint someone who would then have to run for election in April, or run with six members until the election.

More than 75 candidates were reviewed for the human resources manager position. A handful of candidates were interviewed, according to the District.

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Without Showalter, Germantown boys rally for win over Whitefish Bay

Jan. 23, 2015 10:36 p.m. |  

After his team rallied from an eight-point first quarter deficit to pull out a 67-53 North Shore Conference boys basketball decision over a feisty host Whitefish Bay squad, interim Germantown coach Mark Adams first words out of his mouth were:

"I was just glad I could call him and give him the right message (about a victory)," he chuckled.

"Him" being veteran Warhawk coach Steve Showalter, who was laid up all this week while fighting some setbacks in his recovery from some recent arthroscopic knee surgery.

Showalter has fought this same battle against blood clots before and so carefully took the week off as Adams and other assistants ran practice and prepared the Warhawks for the Blue Dukes.

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Jan. 23, 2015 10:05 a.m. | Menomonee Falls —

The School Board continued its discussion of

facility planning this week.

After completing a facility study of all the district's buildings, the board and district

leadership developed a list of projects to consider. The board will seek community input on the

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Senior night a grand success for Menomonee Falls wrestling

Jan. 22, 2015 10:58 p.m. | Veteran Menomonee Falls wrestling coach Jim McMahon is a self-admitted sentimental sort.

"I cry at anything," he said with a chuckle Thursday night after the Indians' 60-6, senior night Greater Metro Conference dual meet win over Brookfield Central.

And what got him the most choked up about Thursday night?

It was paging through the booklet that accompanied the senior night ceremonies. Falls, including managers and assorted other helpers, was sending on their way an impressive total of 17 seniors.

Each senior got a nice photo and a page of information about themselves and their future plans. The final question on that page was "What will you miss most about Falls wrestling?"

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Germantown businesses receive funding for workforce development

Jan. 20, 2015 3:25 p.m. | State Representative Dan Knodl (R) announced today that two businesses from the Assembly District No. 24 have received funding to develop in-demand skills for workers through round three of Governor Scott Walker's Wisconsin Fast Forward (WFF) initiative.

According to a release from the Department of Workforce Development, they intend to award Cambridge Major Laboratories, Inc. a $400,000 grant to train 183 incumbent workers and 99 new hires through a new, industry-specific training program that embeds career development with continuous improvement and learning.

DWD also intends to award KLH Industries, Inc. a $27,721 grant to train 8 incumbent workers and 2 new hires on 3 new high-precision machines for aerospace and defense industry parts production. The training will be provided on-site by private providers and equipment vendors.

"Cambridge Major Laboratories, Inc. and KLH Industries, Inc. are both great businesses," Knodl said. "It is great to see that the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) has recognized their ability to train and further prepare workers for modern day as well as future manufacturing demands."

Germantown Fire Department seeks to enlist additional paid-on-call staff

Jan. 20, 2015 11:22 a.m. | Germantown — "We need you." That is the message Germantown Fire Chief Gary Weiss is sending out to members of the community as he seeks to grow the paid-on-call staff at the fire department.

"Paid-on-call staff is the backbone of a department," said Weiss, who has been actively working to improve the department since taking it over last May. "It's so important to have a healthy paid-on-call staff because that initial response is so important, especially in a medical emergency."

Both firefighters and emergency medical technicians (EMTs) are needed to supplement an existing POC staff of about 30. Of those, Weiss said about 20 are active and respond regularly to calls. Training will be provided to interested parties, and shifts for POC members rotate on a bi-weekly basis to assist the full-time and part-time members of the department when responding to calls.

A larger POC staff is needed regardless of the outcome of a possible fire department referendum later this year, Weiss added.

"Whether the referendum happens or not, we're always going to need POC members," he said. "The reality is, most of our POC members have jobs and families and by having more members we put less of a strain on those who are willing to make a difference in our community."

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Costco earns approval from Menomonee Falls village officials

Jan. 20, 2015 11:00 a.m. | Menomonee Falls — Plans for a 149,000-square-foot members-only shopping center along Highway 41/45 in Menomonee Falls will proceed.

On Jan. 19, the Menomonee Falls Village Board unanimously approved a conditional-use permit allowing the construction of a Costco store and gas station along the highway, just south of Best Buy and Steinhafels.

The approval includes conditions that include landscaped screening to help with concerns about lighting and noise that have been brought up by neighboring residents and business owners.

As part of the approval, the commission previously denied a request for a lighting exception to allow 36.5-foot light poles, which is a company standard for Cosco. Instead, there will be more poles at a lower height of 25 feet, which is the highest allowable in the village.

Now that approvals are through, Costco Development Manager Ted Johnson has said the new Costco store will open as early as this fall, becoming the third in the area and employing about 150 people.

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Plea deal in Ponzi scheme calls for prison time

Jan. 19, 2015 9:02 p.m. | In 2013, Michael Enea agreed to sell his Menomonee Falls home to help pay restitution to victims of a Ponzi scheme he operated, and now the federal government is willing to give him a place to live: behind bars.

A plea deal calls for Enea, 59, to plead guilty to wire fraud for running a $2.1 million Ponzi scheme that cost at least 10 investors more than $750,000, records filed in U.S. District Court last week show. He also is agreeing to plead to filing a false income tax return for writing off payments to the scheme's investors without reporting the income he received from them.

The deal calls for the prosecutors to recommend a sentence within the range recommended by federal sentencing guidelines — likely to be between 41 months and 51 months.

"Most assuredly there will be some sort of incarceration," Franklyn Gimbel, Enea's lawyer, said Monday.

Matthew Jacobs, assistant U.S. attorney, agreed the size of the scheme and the number of victims justified a prison time. "These were real people who lost real money and we do expect this guy to go to prison," Jacobs said.

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Menomonee Falls could make decision on Costco plans tonight

Jan. 19, 2015 10:31 a.m. | Menomonee Falls — Plans for a 149,000-square-foot shopping center will be under review by the Menomonee Falls Village Board at its meeting at 6:30 p.m. tonight, Jan. 19 at Village Hall, W156 N8480 Pilgrim Road.

The board will review a conditional-use permit allowing the construction of a Costco store and gas station along Highway 41/45 just south of Best Buy and Steinhafels.

The approval includes conditions that include landscaped screening to help with concerns about lighting and noise that have been brought up by neighboring residents and business owners.

As part of the approval, the commission also denied a request for a lighting exception to allow 36.5-foot light poles, which is a company standard for Cosco. Instead, there will be more poles at a lower height of 25 feet, which is the highest allowable in the village.

If village approvals go smoothly, Costco Development Manager Ted Johnson has said the new Costco store will open as early as this fall, becoming the third in the area and employing about 150 people.

Milwaukee County Transit System adds stops in Menomonee Falls, Germantown

Jan. 19, 2015 9:10 a.m. | A few extra bus stops in Menomonee Falls and Germantown were added this week in an effort to help workers in Milwaukee get to jobs in the suburbs.

Effective Jan. 18, changes were made to Route No. 61 of the Milwaukee County Transit System that should make it a little easier for employees to get to work in the area, according to MCTS Communications Manager Jacqueline Zeledon.

"Route 61 was created using Wisconsin Department of Transportation Zoo Interchange Settlement funding designed to help connect workers to jobs," Zeledon explained.

The changes will add full-week local bus service along Appleton Avenue and weekday morning and afternoon service looping through Germantown, servicing primarily the Walmart store and Germantown Industrial Park.

"In my talks with business owners, this should be very beneficial for businesses in Germantown," said Village Administrator Dave Schornack. "Especially younger workers that may not even have their own transportation, this should make it much easier to get to work and to get their careers started."

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Menomonee Falls School Board approves 2015-16 legislative priorities

Jan. 16, 2015 10:01 a.m. | Menomonee Falls — The state's public education funding formula and the amount of local control given to each district are among the main focal points on the district's final priority list for lawmakers.

After more than two months of discussion, the Menomonee Falls School Board on Jan. 12 approved the document that will announce the district's united support for several legislative issues, including the establishment of a sustainable funding system and consistency in mandates and accountability standards from district to district and school to school.

It is the second time the board is presenting a document of this kind, which features topics the board members agree are important to the district of Menomonee Falls.

The state education funding formula as it stands has a negative impact on districts with declining enrollment, such as Menomonee Falls — a factor Director of Business Services Jeff Gross has said is especially important to the district.

Full reimbursement for open enrollment students, the difficulty in staying competitive for staffing purposes and the funding discrepancy that exists between what is spent and what is needed to run special education programs were among the main considerations board members discussed throughout the process.

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Menomonee Falls to make alterations to Open Enrollment, Chapter 220

Jan. 16, 2015 9:18 a.m. | Menomonee Falls — An evolving educational climate in local schools could prompt the school board to make some alterations to its open enrollment and Chapter 220 seats in Menomonee Falls in 2015-16.

The Menomonee Falls School Board on Jan. 26 could make a decision not to offer any Chapter 220 seats and to offer only an additional handful of open enrollment seats than it has in prior years.

A total of 25 spots, split between kindergarten and first and second grade, are proposed for 2015-16, down from 52 this year, according to Director of Pupil Services Kathy Zarling.

In addition, the proposal includes a recommendation not to allow students with disabilities to enroll in the district through the program in an effort to make sure teachers are not spread too thin.

"According to our policy, we are able to make that determination," Zarling explained. "(The policy) talks about whether space is available to deliver the services outlined in the student's Individualized Education Program."

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Motivated Germantown wrestlers beat Nicolet, 63-15

Jan. 15, 2015 9:50 p.m. | In Germantown wrestling coach Jeff Szohr's mind, success is all about imposing your will upon an opponent.

The Warhawks succeeded broadly in that regard Thursday night, recording seven pins in a 63-15 North Shore Conference dual meet victory over host Nicolet.

It was an impressive effort for a team that earlier this season had to deal with a great deal of youth (no seniors in the starting line-up) and the suspension of its best wrestler for an athletic code violation (Szohr's son Zack).

"I liked our intensity and I liked the intensity we had in fighting for our style," said Coach Szohr., "We're fighting for the way we look in the practice room, because we've been working really hard since On-the-Water (the big Oshkosh tournament that was held late last month).

...You've got to be able to force your style on the other guy and whoever succeeds in doing that will usually win."

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Pavement repair to close lanes on US 41 Southbound in Germantown

Jan. 15, 2015 12:56 p.m. | Germantown — Drivers headed southbound on Highway 41 this afternoon can expect some delays.

As part of an emergency pavement repair within the Highway 41 Menomonee River Bridge project limits, two southbound lanes will be closed between County Line Road and Mequon Road this afternoon.

The approximately half-mile, double lane closure is expected to last from 3 to 10 p.m. A single lane southbound will remain open at all times.

Some congestion is expected, according to a news release from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, which reminds drivers to prevent further delays and accidents by avoiding "gapers delay."

Suburban Selfies contest extended through Jan. 25; two selfie solutions to get you started!

Jan. 15, 2015 9:30 a.m. | My Community Now and Lake Country Now are extending the second annual Suburban Selfies contest through Sunday, Jan. 25. Contest answers and winners will be announced Jan. 29.

Below, and in the above video, are two free riddle solutions to get you started!

Check out the contest at mycommunitynow.com/selfies.

Solution One:

Lake Country Now contest riddle: My body is silver but you can see through me. Waukesha's hometown boy was famous for playing me. (Location: Waukesha)

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Menomonee Falls man arrested for holding neighbor at gun point

Jan. 14, 2015 2:26 p.m. | Menomonee Falls — A 51-year-old Menomonee Falls man was arrested after he threatened his neighbor with a handgun on Dec. 21.

According to the police report:

The victim, his wife and his two daughters were on their property in the 15900 block of Good Hope Road cutting up a tree that had fallen over when the suspect walked up and pointed a gun at them at about 5 p.m. Dec. 21. The suspect refused to tell the victim why he was pointing the gun at him. When the victim asked him what he was doing, the suspect stated only that he "maintains the area."

The victim and his family left the property and called police. When officers arrived to question the suspect he denied pointing a gun at the victim and his family and refused to cooperate with police and physically resisted arrest. An officer deployed a taser to subdue him and he was taken into custody.

He was arrested for operating a firearm while intoxicated, intentionally pointing a firearm at a person and resisting/obstructing police. He was also cited for possession of a firearm within 1,000 feet of a school.

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