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Filing in Falls closes, Village Board members contested in spring

Jan. 03, 2013 9:06 a.m. | The time is up for residents to file to run for open positions during the spring election for school boards and local municipalities.

Three terms on the Menomonee Falls Village Board will expire in April: seat four, currently held by Mike McDonald; seat five, held by Jeff Steliga; and seat six, held by Steve Raymonds.

All three incumbents are running once more. Real Estate Agent Bonnie Lemmer is running against Steliga for seat five. McDonald is contested by Jeremy Walz. Raymonds will run unopposed.

Village trustees serve three-year terms and receive $5,500 annually.

Three people are running for the three open seats up for election on the Menomonee Falls School Board. Incumbents Faith VanderHorst and Scott Ternes and Valley View Elementary Parent Teacher Association President Michele Divelbiss are running for the School Board seats.

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Menomonee Falls baseball team fine-tuning things heading into tournaments

1:00 p.m. | The storied history of the Oak Creek baseball team is filled with balls sprayed all over the park and epic home runs.

But with a dry, rock-hard infield June 21 at Abendschein Park against red-hot defending state champion Menomonee Falls, the Knights played a little small ball and used it to great effect.

The first three batters in both the second and fourth innings got on base without the benefit of the ball leaving the infield. The Knights wound up scoring twice in each frame and then rode DJ Ellifson's complete-game effort to a pivotal, 5-1 victory.

"I even thought about a safety squeeze late, and I'm not a fan of squeezing," said Knights coach Scott Holler, "but I do like to bunt. I saw an opportunity to keep pushing things, and we got a couple of balls down.

"And it was a really fast track tonight (on the infield)."

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Road trip to Whitewater helps Germantown baseball team

12:35 p.m. | Nothing like a little getaway to take your mind off your troubles.

That's what the Germantown baseball team did on June 25 when it went down to UW-Whitewater for a doubleheader as part of a round-robin involving a number of teams.

The Warhawks, who had dropped three North Shore Conference decisions during the week, bounced back by beating both Brookfield East (10-8) and Pius XI (9-6).

"We really needed that," said coach Jeff Wolf. "What was really nice is that we really hit the ball well, especially at clutch moments. I think we scored at least 10 of our runs that day with two out."

The two wins lifted the Warhawks to 11-10 overall. Earlier in the week, they had lost to North Shore foes Kewaskum on June 23 (8-3), West Bend West on June 21 (2-0) and West Bend East on June 20 (6-3).

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Menomonee Falls youth soccer program joins Milwaukee Kickers

12:15 p.m. | As part of the reorganization project going on in the Menomonee Falls youth and high school soccer programs, area soccer officials announced Falls is now an established region in the Milwaukee Kickers organization.

According to a press release, the organization, after some restructuring in the last few years, has grown to 230 active players on 18 different teams. They are looking for players ages 5 and up to join them for what they promise is "another fun year."

Along those lines, Milwaukee Kickers Falls is accepting registrations for the 2016-17 soccer year.

The soccer year is divided into two seasons: fall and spring. Participants will take part in one or two practices per week and then play games on the weekend. The fall season runs from the end of August to the end of October, and the spring season runs from the first of April to mid-June. Some teams also opt to play in a couple of tournament events each year. Student-athletes who want to play multiple sports are welcome.

The cost will vary depending on the age group (between $195-325). The cost covers player registration fees paid to the state association; fees collected by Kickers as the host organization; team registration fees; uniforms; field rental and maintenance; port-a-johns; referee expenses; and ancillary costs incurred for training and coaching. Organizers said they believe this is a good value given the amount of training time and the 16 games each player will take part in.

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U.S. appeals court overturns conviction in Falls bank robbery

June 24, 2016 8:45 p.m. | A federal appeals court has reversed the conviction of a Milwaukee man serving 25 years for robbery because Wisconsin judges denied him his right to represent himself at his trial.

In its opinion, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals noted that the Wisconsin Supreme Court got the law totally wrong when it upheld a Waukesha County trial judge's order that Rashaad Imani proceed with an attorney he didn't want, after he explicitly asked to act as his own attorney, four weeks before trial.

"That decision was an error. Further, it was contrary to and an unreasonable application of clearly established federal law," Judge David Hamilton wrote for a three-judge panel. The court ordered Imani be released or granted a new trial.

Waukesha County District Attorney Sue Opper said she was exploring a retrial. "If it is possible to still prove the case, we will definitely proceed," she said Friday.

In 2007, Imani, now 38, was found guilty of armed robbery and being a felon with a firearm in the holdup of a Menomonee Falls bank and was sentenced by Circuit Judge Mac Davis to 25 years in prison. Imani's cousin, Raziga Imani, was sentenced to 15 years for his role in the robbery after he agreed to be a prosecution witness in his cousin's trial.

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Marcus to add lounge, pizzeria at Menomonee Falls cinema

June 24, 2016 7:00 a.m. | Marcus Theatres plans to add a Take Five Lounge and a Zaffiro's Express pizzeria to its Menomonee Falls cinema.

The Village Board this week approved a liquor license for the theater, W180 N9393 Premier Lane. That's just southeast of Appleton Ave. and County Line Road 

The cinema's website says the Take Five Lounge and Zaffiro's Express, which operate at five Milwaukee-area locations, will be coming soon to Menomonee Falls. 

Oak Creek baseball team plays small ball to beat Menomonee Falls

June 21, 2016 9:12 p.m. | The storied history of the Oak Creek baseball team is filled with balls sprayed all over the park and epic home runs.

But with a dry, rock-hard infield Tuesday night at Abendschein Park against red-hot defending state champion Menomonee Falls, the Knights played a little small ball and used it to great effect.

The first three batters in both the second and fourth innings got on base without benefit of the ball leaving the infield. The Knights wound up scoring twice in each frame and then rode DJ Ellifson's complete game effort to a pivotal, 5-1 victory.

"I even thought about a safety squeeze late and I'm not a fan of squeezing," said Knights coach Scott Holler, "but I do like to bunt. I saw an opprtunity to keep pushing things and we got a couple of balls down.

"And it was a really fast track tonight (on the infield)."

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Germantown School District could ask for up to $66.5 million in building updates

June 21, 2016 12:55 p.m. | According to Germantown School Board President Bob Soderberg, "We have a lot of needs in the district, a lot of needs."

And, after the June 13 board meeting, the district is moving forward in addressing those needs.

The board finalized a community facilities survey that will be sent out to district residents this month. The survey will measure constituents' willingness to pay for needed school building upgrades.

The final draft of the survey was developed after taking into consideration community concerns about clarifying the specific costs of each item.

The resulting survey describes each of the needed updates to the district's school buildings along with the estimated cost of each.

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Menomonee Falls man accused of inappropriately touching woman with dementia

June 21, 2016 11:50 a.m. | A Menomonee Falls man has been charged with two counts of fourth-degree sexual assault after an alleged inappropriate interaction with a patient at the Menomonee Falls Health Care Center on June 10.

According to the criminal complaint, 73-year-old Earl Wright Sr. allegedly approached the victim, a woman being treated for dementia at the center, as she lay in bed and began to touch her inappropriately.

Linda Warfel, a nurse at the center conducting rounds during that time, said she saw Wright touching the woman, and said he stopped when she walked into the room.

Warfel added that the woman is unable to legally give consent for purposes of sexual contact because of her illness.

Wright Sr. previously pleaded guilty to a similar offense in 2005 in which he was charged with fourth-degree sexual assault. Wright had approached a woman with three children who was waiting for her son after school at Village Park in Menomonee Falls.

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Germantown's Keefe has fun, plays strong at WBCA All-Star game

June 21, 2016 10:06 a.m. | Germantown Now All-Suburban basketball forward Max Keefe chuckled when he said his dad "has a lot of plans" for him, meaning work around the house, etc., this summer.

So Keefe was happy to get out of the house last week and have a good time with his peers as part of the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association D1 All-Star Classic South team at the Justagame Fieldhouse in Wisconsin Dells.

The South team lost a heartbreaker, 85-84, to North on Saturday, June 18, despite 14 points (5-of-7 shooting) from Keefe. He was one of four players in double figures for the South team.

"This was a lot of fun," he said. "We got together on Tuesday (June 14) and stayed in Hartford (where South coach Ben Hoffmann is from). We had some good practices Tuesday and Wednesday, and then Thursday we went up to the Dells.

"I knew almost alll of them, either from playing against them or with them (as part of summer AAU teams). It was a nice group to be around. No one was out just for themselves; we had some real team players. We really didn't have a big all-star out there either — just a lot of good fundamental guys who really got along."

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Weber comes back to help Menomonee Falls baseball team

June 20, 2016 12:55 p.m. | College students, especially freshmen, all get homesick from time to time.

It happens to the best of us.

Not that Menomonee Falls baseball coach Pat Hansen is complaining as less than a week after he took off for summer school at the University of Illinois where he has a baseball scholarship, Indian ace Ty Weber came back home and helped Falls take down then Greater Metro Conference co-leader Marquette, 16-4, on June 17.

"He was even here on Thursday," said Hansen of the doubleheader sweep of West Allis Hale on June 16. "He told us he could be around on weekends. It certainly is a nice boost for the team."

Especially for a team that has battled inconsistency but now seems to be rounding into form.

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Initial Reaction Podcast: MLB Draft's Wisconsin flavor and WIAA's postseason model

June 15, 2016 6:15 p.m. | The MLB Draft had a distinct Wisconsin flavor this year, and JP and JR dive in with state baseball underway. Also, given the number of talent-loaded sectionals in some sports, could the WIAA find a model that spreads the best teams around a little more evenly? Plus, new Greenfield boys basketball coach Kyle Johnsen stops by to talk about his new gig and his playing days just down the road at Greendale. Each week, Lake Country/Now sports director JR Radcliffe and Time Warner Cable Sports Channel's JP Cadorin chat about the Wisconsin sports scene, with an emphasis on Milwaukee-area preps. Find the podcast on Stitcher and iTunes.

Yellow bricks at Thomas Jefferson found to contain lead paint

June 15, 2016 2:12 p.m. | Yellow bricks from the now-closed Thomas Jefferson Middle School in Menomonee Falls were found to be covered in lead paint and will not be for sale after the building is demolished in July, according to Megan Sheridan, the district's director of communications and assistant to the superintendent.

Sheridan had said in an earlier email that the bricks could possibly be sold to community members as mementos, available for purchase at the building's open house June 24.

Due to the lead paint, however, purchasing the bricks will not be possible.

Hubertus man killed in head-on car crash

June 15, 2016 10:35 a.m. | A Hubertus man was killed on Appleton Avenue in Germantown on Tuesday, June 14, after his passenger car crossed the center line and collided with a truck traveling the opposite way, according to a report from the Germantown Police Department.

The Germantown Fire Department arrived at the scene of the accident, just north of Willow Creek Road, and performed lifesaving measures on 28-year-old Joshua Michek. However, the report said Michek was later pronounced dead on the scene.

Germantown police were also assisted by members of the Wisconsin State Patrol, according to the report.

The truck driver, a 52-year-old man from Watertown, was taken to Community Memorial Hospital in Menomonee Falls and is expected to be fine, according to Lieutenant Thomas Schreihart of the Germantown Police Department.

Schreihart said there is no further information as to why Michek crossed the center line, but the incident is under investigation.

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Chemical spill at Gehl Foods plant leaves five with minor injuries

June 14, 2016 12:17 p.m. | A gas buildup inside the Gehl Foods plant in Germantown on June 7 caused a chemical spill that sent five to the hospital with minor respiratory issues.

According to a press release from the Germantown Fire Department, a contractor had accidentally mixed two materials that created chlorine and sulfur dioxide, which eventually caused a pressure breach that released product and gas inside the facility.

All employees at the plant were evacuated, with five sent to Community Memorial Hospital after complaining of respiratory distress.

Responders on the scene determined the product could be flushed and diluted to a safe point. According to the release, the Washington County Hazmat Team monitored the situation in and around the building.

The area was released back to Gehl Foods after air monitoring was completed and the pH at the scene was neutral.

Vitale named principal at Menomonee Falls High School

June 14, 2016 12:17 p.m. | The School District of Menomonee Falls has named Bob Vitale as the new principal for Menomonee Falls High School, according to a Monday press release from the district. He replaces Corey Golla who was recently named the Director of Curriculum & Learning for the district.

"I'm just really excited for Bob and the school," Golla said in the release. "He has been an incredible leader in our building and the staff respects him and loves him, the kids respect and love him. It's great to know the building is in good hands."

Vitale has been an educator for 26 years, of which he has spent close to 20 in the Menomonee Falls School District as a physical education teacher, coach and most recently, vice principal.

As vice principal for the past eight years at MFHS Vitale, affectionately known to many of his students as Vito, has helped students navigate high school with careful attention to those most at-risk.

"Vitale's dedication to service, strong relationships with students and staff and his commitment to learning and leading well with others made him a clear choice for this position," said district superintendant Dr. Pat Greco in the release.

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