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Fire causes $150,000 in damage to Menomonee Falls home; five people make it to safety

Jan. 03, 2013 11:48 a.m. | A fire that broke out Wednesday afternoon in Menomonee Falls caused $150,000 in damages to a single-story, family residence.

Five people were inside the home at W1355 Mary Dale Drive when it caught fire. All made it out safely. A bystander was able to take the family into the car after they left the home.

The fire was started by a cooking appliance outside, which caught the outside of the house on fire before it quickly spread inside the house and up into the attic, said Menomonee Falls Fire Chief Jeff Hevey.

The Menomonee Falls Fire Department received the first call at 1:38 p.m. Multiple 911 calls came from an office building next door to the home, Hevey said.

The Fire Department was on scene at 1:41 p.m. and had the fire extinguished about an hour later.

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Updated week seven rankings of area prep football teams and players

Oct. 02, 2015 1:00 p.m. | Push for the playoffs is a detailed weekly breakdown of the teams and players in the Lake Country and suburban Milwaukee prep football scene.

Initial Reaction Podcast: Is Aaron Rodgers really the best QB in football?

Oct. 01, 2015 11:00 a.m. | With a big battle looming for the Badgers, Iowa graduate J.P. Cadorin talks about the dangers the Hawkeyes present. Also, while Aaron Rodgers has been excellent, there is another quarterback who's been just as impressive. And could a prep football powerhouse be left out of the playoffs this year entirely?

Last-second pick denies Germantown win against Bay in football thriller

Oct. 01, 2015 7:39 a.m. | Whitefish Bay defensive back Michael Kirkendoll was on the trainer's cart at midfield fighting off cramps in his calf and straining to put a smile on his face as it seemed each and every one of his teammates came over to congratulate him on his game-saving interception against Germantown on Sept. 25.

Just moments earlier, he had been laying on the ground in the front left corner of the end zone, having outfought a Warhawks receiver for a jump-ball pass with just 6 seconds remaining and Bay holding a tenuous 24-21 lead.

The subsequent celebration was delayed a few minutes as Kirkendoll struggled to get up right away and was tended to by trainers.

When the cart finally came to midfield, his happy teammates were there to greet him as the interception and subsequent victory gave Bay sole possession of first place in the North Shore Conference at 4-0 (5-1 overall). Germantown, which had overcome an early 14-0 deficit, fell to 3-1 and 4-2, respectively.

"He initially caught it," said Kirkendoll of the Warhawks receiver, "but I ripped it out right over his shoulder. We just had to stop them there, and I couldn't have done it without the entire offense and defense giving it their all, too."

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Home sweet home: Falls offense paces Indian football team to 37-13 win

Oct. 01, 2015 7:13 a.m. | All season long, the Menomonee Falls football team has been relying on its defense to carry the load, but in a rare home game on Sept. 25 during the school's Hall of Fame Night, the offense came to shine.

Senior quarterback Bryce McMurtry had a career game, completing 10-of-16 passes for 190 yards and two touchdowns and then capping off the night with a spectacular 98-yard TD run of his own, as the Indians routed visiting West Allis Central, 37-13, in a Greater Metro Conference game.

"We always knew he could throw the ball; it was just a matter of giving him some protection, which our line did tonight," said Indian coach Dan Lutz. "When that happens, he puts the ball right on the money.

"We just had a really good night offensively. Explosive in some ways."

McMurtry would account for 321 yards of total offense rushing and passing.

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Menomonee Falls woman, 81, to be published nationally

Sept. 29, 2015 8:08 p.m. | Menomonee Falls — To many, the sight of a spider is scary, creepy, crawly and alarming. But to local poet Agnes Thurner, it was inspiration.

A poet can see art in a way many others can't, and find a unique way to express their perspective with the world around them. That is among the goals Thurner, who has been writing poems since the age of eight, said she had when she wrote "Daddy Long Legs."

"I was standing outside my now former home and I saw a daddy long legs...I watched him for a while, studying him and learning from him, before going inside to write," recalls Thurner, an 81-year-old resident of Village at the Falls.

The resulting poem about a family of daddy long legged spiders was recently selected to appear in "Bedtime Stories: Original Tales Shared from One Generation to the Next," due to be published nationwide this winter.

Writing has been a lifelong passion for Agnes, who wrote her first poem in the fourth grade, when her teacher told her she would be a writer someday.

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3 things you can do to protect your family, pets from coyote attacks

Sept. 29, 2015 12:00 p.m. | There are a number of things local families can do to prevent a coyote attack on their loved ones.

After three small dogs have been attacked and killed by coyotes this month, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Biologist Diane Robinson cited three specific techniques residents can take to protect themselves:

Take their comfort

One thing law enforcement and DNR representatives have noted is that many of the people who voice concern or report they have seen coyotes in their area indicate they seem very comfortable around people. One of the ways to address the problem is to make them uncomfortable being in the area, by doing things like yelling, making large gestures with your arms and making loud noises.

Keep an eye on pets

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Family ties link Menomonee Falls Hall of Famers

Sept. 29, 2015 9:58 a.m. | How cool is it when the most proverbial slam-dunk (pardon the pun) of a future Menomonee Falls Athletic Hall of Famer comes by the high school the day of the latest induction ceremonies, looks around at the plaques of the current inductees and tells Athletic Director Ryan Anderson this?

"Mr. Anderson, I really hope that I can be on that wall someday. These people are really lucky."

But that's exactly what current Philadelphia 76ers basketball player and former Indian hoops superstar J.P. Tokoto said and did in a very sincere manner on Sept. 25, making it a very cool day in the history of Falls athletics indeed.

Anderson related the story at the banquet for the current inductees held at North Hills Country Club later that evening and added a joking note that Tokoto also helped him calm down a pair of young and rambunctious students whose jaws understandably dropped when they saw the 6-7 hoopster-without-peer coming around the corner.

But the story also strongly related to the pull of family, of home and of gratitude that new inductees Angela Jashinsky Sardina (class of 1994), Jeff Pitrof (1998), Matt Rampetsreiter (1992), Jennifer Van Alstyne Horvath (Falls East 1980) and former football coach Jack Synold felt concerning this honor.

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Kohl's pilots Kohl's Café at Menomonee Falls, Delafield locations

Sept. 28, 2015 3:05 p.m. | Menomonee Falls — Kohl's will begin piloting Kohl's Café in-store coffee stands at its Menomonee Falls and Delafield store locations starting Sept. 29.

In support of Kohl's Greatness Agenda, Kohl's Café will provide an opportunity for Kohl's to test and learn about customers firsthand and explore new ways to deliver an easy, convenient shopping experience.

The cafes will feature Caribou Coffee selections, as well as grab-and-go snacks such as granola bars, breakfast bars, chips and cookies.

Menomonee-Falls based manufacturer receives award for health, wellness programs

Sept. 28, 2015 2:31 p.m. | Menomonee Falls — Normally, mom-of-two Val Bonney would find herself at Target shopping for odds and ends over her lunch break. That all changes on Wednesdays, when she and about a dozen of her co-workers from Bradley Corporation opt to get together to work out instead.

The group is about halfway through a 10-week workout regime called "Absoglutely," a wellness program Bradley offers in conjunction with the Tri-County YMCA.

"It's an intense way to spend a lunch break, that's for sure," said Bonney, product manager at Bradley. At a cost of $2 per class, the half-hour workout is packed with exercises that work the abs and glutes, including situps, planks, lunges and squats.

The classes are part of Bradley's health and wellness program, which recently earned the company an award from the Milwaukee Business Journal. The 95-year-old company, which manufactures commercial plumbing and washroom solutions, was named a 2015 winner of the Business Journal's Healthiest Employer award.

Based on health and wellness initiatives designed to positively impact its nearly 500 employees, Bradley was selected a winner in the medium-sized company category for making significant efforts to ensure its employees are balancing work with healthy activities.

Falls woman charged in heroin death of man just out of rehab

Sept. 28, 2015 1:23 p.m. | A Menomonee Falls woman has been charged in the death of a 22-year-old fellow heroin addict just a day after he returned from a month at a California rehab center.

Brittney A. Fluette, 24, faces one count of first-degree reckless homicide in the fatal overdose of Joseph James Pusa, who died May 20, 2013, at his mother's home in Menomonee Falls.

According to the criminal complaint:

Pusa's mother called 911 on May 21, 2013, after finding her son nonresponsive and cold when she came home from work. When paramedics arrived, they found Pusa still had a hypodermic needle in his arm. He was declared dead at the scene.

Pusa's mother told police that two days earlier, she had picked her son up at the airport after his return from a drug rehab center. The next day, she dropped him at an apartment complex on Appleton Ave. where he said he was going to see an old friend, Fluette.

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Sport Shorts: Oct 1, 2015

Sept. 28, 2015 12:43 p.m. |


The Indians used balance to earn a solid third in the Greater Metro Conference Relays on Sept. 24.

The local co-op scored 129 points for its spot as Brookfield East edged Brookfield Central, 155-152, for the title. Either East or Central won all but one of the events.

Earning seconds for the Indians were the 200-yard medley relay team of Becca Schoenauer, Sarah Scargill, Rachel Kochand Stephanie Hopkins (1:58.97) and the 300 butterfly relay of Emily Hadland, Scargill, Koch and Jenny Wesolowski(3:11.33).

Thirds were claimed by the 200 free relay team of Schoenauer, Nicole Simson, Hopkins and Wesolowski (1:47.88); the 400 individual medley unit of Hadland, Scargill, Maya Barwick, and Wesolowski (4:33.68); the 400 medley crew of Schoenauer, Barwick, Koch and Simson (4:26.72); the 300 backstroke team of Olivia Eisenhauer, Schoenauer, Simson and Wesolowski (3:14.9); the 300 breaststroke crew of Natalie Harms, Barwick, Hadland and Scargill (3:44.14).

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Germantown swimmers rally for win over D2 champ Grafton

Sept. 28, 2015 12:18 p.m. | In short, it was everything a great dual should have been.

The Germantown girls swimming team battled two-time defending WIAA state D2 champion Grafton hammer and tongs on Sept. 22, setting school records, competing hard and eventually overhauling the powerful Black Hawks in the final race, the 400-yard freestyle relay, for a 95-89 North Shore Conference victory.

"That was one of the biggest meets that we've had in years," said Warhawk coach Kevin Ewald. "The only time we led the meet was after the final relay.

"We were 10 points going into the (100) breaststroke (the second-to-last race), but we went one-three there, and then we went one-two in the relay. We stuck to our guns and eventually got it done."

The meet's intensity was amazing, said Ewald, whose team will make its annual road trip to the Evanston (Illinois) Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 3.

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Trash changes in Germantown delayed a month

Sept. 28, 2015 11:13 a.m. | Germantown — If you haven't yet seen those new trash containers arriving on your doorstep, do not be alarmed. The overhaul of how trash is picked up in Germantown has been delayed a month.

All residents were to receive notice this month from Waste Management that 96-gallon garbage containers will be delivered, but that notice has not yet gone out.

"There was no contract signed as of this date," Director of Public Works Larry Ratayczak explained to the village board at their Sept. 21 meeting. "It could have been several things, but I would say it's probably due to the director of public works position being vacant for several months before when I started."

Ratayczak started in the position Aug. 31, replacing Dan Ludwig, who retired from the post mid-June. Upon starting with the village, Ratayczak reviewed the new contract, which was set to go into effect Oct. 1.

"As part of my review of the contract, I found there were also some amendments that should have been included that carry over from the 2010 contact," he said. "In addition, part of the process involved residents receiving the changes with a reply card so they had the option to notify Waste Management if they wanted a smaller cart ... I want the residents to have the same procedure they were told."

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Several coyotes, foxes spotted in Menomonee Falls

Sept. 28, 2015 11:00 a.m. | Menomonee Falls — Three local dogs are dead in recent coyote attacks in Wauwatosa and Elm Grove, and Menomonee Falls residents are worried it could happen here next.

Coyotes have been spotted throughout the village recently, including sightings near a number of local elementary schools.

"I was driving southbound on Shady Lane and I saw something out of the corner of my eye and double taked," said Menomonee Falls resident Sarah Henricks. "I realized it wasn't a raccoon, backed up and shot a picture of it drinking from a puddle."

What was most surprising to Henricks was the coyote's lack of reaction to her getting relatively close to it.

"It was not alarmed or scared of my van," she said. "It took its drink and walked up the sidewalk headed north." In addition to Shady Lane, coyotes have been spotted near Grace Lutheran School and Riverside Elementary School.

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Germantown mansion destroyed in fire

Sept. 27, 2015 10:23 a.m. | Germantown — No one was home. A burglar alarm went off. But when the Germantown Police Department responded to the alarm, they didn't expect what happened next.

The call came in at about 7:10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 26, and when the police department responded to the call at the home in the 13900 block of Lovers Lane, it was clear it was more than a burglar alarm.

"Police responded for a burglar alarm, but it was probably the fire causing a window to break," explained Germantown Fire Chief Gary Weiss.

The entirety of the two-story, 4,000-square-foot home sustained heavy fire damage, including the home office, living room area, stairway and part of the second floor.

In addition, there was heat and smoke damage throughout, resulting in what Weiss said he estimates is about a $2.25 million loss.

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