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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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Germantown Police seek help finding hit-and-run vehicle

1:04 p.m. | Germantown — The Germantown Police Department is seeking help from the public locating a vehicle involved in a criminal hit-and-run crash that happened on March 5.

At about 5:22 p.m. near Division Road and Hawthorne Drive, the Germantown Police Department responded to a traffic crash where the striking vehicle fled the scene. The victim did sustain injuries and was transported to Community Memorial Hospital. The suspect vehicle fled eastbound on Hawthorne Drive.

The suspect vehicle is grey, and the driver is described as a 20-year-old male with brown hair wearing a beanie hat. A Honda emblem, silver/gray was left at the scene.

If you have information about this suspect and or vehicle, please call Germantown Police Department at (262) 253-7780 or email me at phoell@germantownpolice.org.

Myers, McManus to face off for Germantown Village Board seat

March 05, 2015 2:28 p.m. | Germantown — As a familiar face steps down on the Germantown Village Board this spring, two will compete for the open seat.

Longtime district 3 trustee Al Vanderheiden has opted not seek re-election to a fifth term, leaving his seat up for grabs. David McManus will compete with Dennis Myers to fill the position. While both candidates share similar priorities for the village, they vary a bit in what they bring to the table in terms of prior political experience.

Dennis Myers, who has served as a Washington County Supervisor for the last six years, said he would like to take a conservatively traditional approach if elected, focusing his efforts primarily on roads and keeping taxes under control.

McManus lacks Myers' political experience, but said he thinks that is a positive thing as it could offer a fresh perspective to the board.

Meanwhile, the status quo will be maintained in districts 1 and 4, where trustees Terri Kaminski and Art Zabel are running unopposed to retain their positions.

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Fox Head Residences apartment plan in Waukesha rejected after rezoning vote again denied

March 05, 2015 2:02 p.m. | Terrence Wall took one last chance.

But the council once again was not budging on the Fox Head Residences.

Wall of T. Wall Enterprises was looking at redeveloping the former Fox Head Brewery site just west of Carroll University with a 202-unit luxury-style apartment complex. But in order for that to happen, Wall needed the site at 211 and 223 Maple Ave. rezoned from manufacturing to a general business planned-unit development.

The apartment project appeared dead after the council voted against the rezoning change at its Feb. 19 meeting in an 8-7 vote. However, Alderwoman Kathleen Cummings made a request to have the council revisit the rezoning issue after learning that Wall's updated plans included 60 units dedicated to senior housing.

Cummings previously voted against rezoning the property.

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Drivers react to the serious crashes in Germantown on Highway 41/45 March 4

March 05, 2015 10:16 a.m. | Germantown — A series of crashes involving five vehicles brought traffic to a screeching halt in a number of directions shortly after 2 p.m. March 4.

Three serious injuries were reported at the crash scene just south of Holy Hill Road that briefly had Highway 41/45 closed in both directions. Northbound remained closed until about 5:30 p.m., and the impact to traffic on surrounding side roads and thoroughfares was a dramatic one.

"I've driven in some slow traffic in my life, but I've never seen anything like this," said Janice Finke, who took Appleton Avenue as an alternate northbound route home to West Bend. "I think I've been either at a complete standstill or going about six miles per hour for about a half hour now." The trip, which usually takes about 25 minutes, took two hours that night.

"I'd rather sit at Starbucks for three hours than sit in that," said Leah Hovland, who lives just outside Menomonee Falls in Milwaukee. "I was supposed to go be in Slinger at 5 p.m. and was going to take 175. I left at 4:35 and sat in the middle of the intersection of 175 and County Line Road for five minutes. Finally I got to the median by Menard's and decided that wasn't happening, so I turned around and went home."

According to Germantown police, a 30-year-old woman suffered some type of medical emergency in the northbound lanes and hit the center median. A 45-year-old woman in a second car pulled over to help her.

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New Kia dealership, Ford service center could be developed near Woodman's in Menomonee Falls

March 04, 2015 7:40 p.m. | Menomonee Falls — A new Kia dealership and Ford Quick Lube and Service Center could soon be constructed near Woodman's along Highway 41/45.

A conceptual review of the plans at the March 3 Plan Commission meeting yielded positive feedback from commissioners like Randy Newman, who said the proposal "might be a nice fit there."

Located at N81 W12920 Leon Road, the proposal by the Boucher Group calls for development of a roughly 8-acre parcel to include two buildings on a property that was once occupied by an office building.

The 1960s building was removed from the site in 2000 to make way for development of the Westbrook Corporate Center within tax-incremental financing district No. 5, explained Director of Community Development Matt Carran. The parcel has sat vacant since then.

A Kia Automotive Dealership that includes new car sales and service and the Ford Quick Lub and Certified Sales center would both be opened under the Boucher Automotive Group.

» Read Full Article

Case involving former Germantown kindergarten teacher sparks lawsuit against Jefferson County Sherif

March 04, 2015 7:00 p.m. | Germantown — A lawsuit has been filed against the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department challenging a policy that came into question following the arrest of a former Germantown kindergarten teacher.

On behalf of the Wisconsin Reporter, the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty ("WILL"), has filed a lawsuit challenging a policy calling for the wholesale redaction of identifying information from routine police reports and citations.

The law suit alleges that the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department illegally redacted information identifying a Germantown kindergarten teacher who vandalized Scott Walker signs at the Jefferson County Fair last July, according to a news release.

The teacher, April Smith, resigned from her role with the Germantown School District earlier this month, following a suspension from the first semester of work and reassignment to a new school starting in January.

WILL's lawsuit demands that the Sheriff's Department release unredacted copies of incident reports and citations, the release states. The 1994 Driver Privacy Protection Act could confuse things, according to the release as it generally prohibits the "disclosure" of personal information obtained from a "motor vehicle record, but ultimately the question on whether wholesale redaction is an overreaction remains unanswered.

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All lanes open after Highway 41/45 crash that injured four

March 04, 2015 6:16 p.m. | All lanes of State Highway 41/45 near Holy Hill Road in Germantown have been reopened following a multiple-vehicle crash that critically injured several people Wednesday afternoon, authorities said.

Five vehicles were involved in at least three separate crashes and three helicopters were called to the scene to transport three patients with critical injuries, according to Germantown police and fire department officials.

Another person was transported from the scene by ambulance and the crash also involved at least one extrication, officials said.

The crash, reported about 2 p.m. in the northbound lanes, forced the closure of all lanes of the highway for about two hours. The southbound lanes were reopened about 4 p.m. and all lanes were open by 5 p.m., according to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.

UPDATE: Northbound Highway 41 in Germantown remains closed following crashes, drivers stalled

March 04, 2015 5:04 p.m. | Germantown — Traffic is at a near-standstill even on side roads following crashes on Highway 41/45 earlier this afternoon.

Three serious injuries have been reported at the crash scene that briefly had Highway 41/45 closed in both directions. Northbound is still closed, and likely will be until at least 7 p.m. according to Germantown Police Chief Peter Hoell.

"I've driven in some slow traffic in my life, but I've never seen anything like this," said Janice Finke, who took Appleton Avenue as an alternate northbound route home to West Bend. "I think I've been either at a complete standstill or going about six miles per hour for about a half hour now."

According to an update from Germantown Police Chief Peter Hoell, five vehicles were involved in three related crashes. Four injuries were reported, including three serious injuries, Hoell said.

The seriously injured have been transported by three separate medical flights, Hoell said, and the fourth by ground.

» Read Full Article

UPDATE: Three seriously injured in Germantown crash that has Highway 41/45 closed in both directions

March 04, 2015 3:38 p.m. | Germantown — Three serious injuries have been reported at the crash scene that has Highway 41/45 closed in both directions.

According to an update from Germantown Police Chief Peter Hoell, five vehicles were involved in three separate crashes. Four injuries were reported, including three serious injuries, Hoell said.

The seriously injured have been transported by three separate medical flights, Hoell said, and the fourth by ground.

Southbound traffic should be open again shortly, but northbound will be closed at least four hours to complete the crash investigation.

No further information is available at this time.

Fast Signs of Menomonee Falls receives national attention

March 04, 2015 8:58 a.m. | Menomonee Falls — Local signs and visual graphics provider FASTSIGNS of Menomonee Falls has been named one of the top centers out of more than 570 locations worldwide at the recent 2015 FASTSIGNS International Convention.

The locally-owned and operated business received the Pinnacle Club Award, which is given to the centers ranked 26 to 125 in the U.S. and Canada for sales volume from the previous year.

"This award commemorates all of the hard work and excellent service our team at FASTSIGNS of Menomonee Falls provides every day," said owner Patrick Yates. "We want to thank our customers for their continued support and we look forward to helping them accomplish their business goals for 2015 and beyond."

Located at W173N9170 St. Francis Drive, FASTSIGNS of Menomonee Falls has been doing business in the area for 10 years. The center provides comprehensive visual communications solutions, including wall, window and floor graphics, architectural signs, trade show displays, way-finding solutions, vehicle wraps, digital signage and more.

"With the evolution of technology and my team's knowledge and experience, FASTSIGNS of Menomonee Falls offers creative solutions for any industry or business challenge," Yates said. "We're so much more than just sign makers. We're visual communications consultants, innovators, designers and marketing specialists dedicated to help local businesses thrive."

Plans proceed for former Falls Starbucks in Rivercrest Center

March 03, 2015 3:26 p.m. | Menomonee Falls — The former Starbucks location in Rivercrest Center will soon become a home to a new restaurant tenant.

The Village Board on March 2 unanimously approved a conditional-use permit that allows an addition to the northernmost tenant space in the building, which was vacated recently when Starbucks opened its new location with a drive-thru in Germantown on County Line Road.

Neighboring residents have spoken in favor of the proposed 712-square-foot addition, which would essentially fill in the existing footprint of the space, enclosing what was the patio space used by the coffee shop, with hopes to move in as soon as early spring.

The tenant has not yet been identified.

Water Council gathers at Bradley Corporation in Menomonee Falls

March 03, 2015 3:20 p.m. | Menomonee Falls — Representatives from almost 200 companies recently gathered at Bradley Corporation in Menomonee Falls for this year's quarterly meeting of the Water Council.

Based in Menomonee Falls, the manufacturer of commercial plumbing fixtures and equipment hosted the Milwaukee-based council on Feb. 18 at Bradley's headquarters and plant in Menomonee Falls.

In addition to hosting the meeting, representatives from 166 companies related to the water technology industry had an opportunity to tour Bradley's plumbing fixtures manufacturing facility and product display centers.

With four manufacturing plants located in the U.S., Bradley's commercial plumbing products combine the newest materials and technologies with durability, user accommodation and water conservation.

Landscape company in Menomonee Falls to increase staff by 40 percent

March 03, 2015 1:48 p.m. | Menomonee Falls — David J. Frank Landscape Contracting, Inc. is looking to increase its workforce by 40 percent this year, starting with a job fair this month.

The company employs 250 people, but plans to hire up to 100 more to meet the demands of its fast-growing design, construction and maintenance business.

The job fair will be from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, March 7, at the Hilton Gardens Hotel, 11600 W. Park Place.

Immediate openings include positions for construction crews, general laborers, landscape maintenance technicians, truck drivers, customer service reps, office help and more.

"We believe that our success is directly related to the quality of our staff, and we're committed to developing this important resource by providing ongoing training, great benefits and real career opportunities," said Dave Frank, President and CEO.

» Read Full Article

Falls Plan Commission to review new commercial development plans near Woodman's

March 03, 2015 10:24 a.m. | Menomonee Falls — The Menomonee Falls Plan Commission will tonight review a proposal by the Boucher Group to develop a new Kia dealership and Ford Quick Lube and Service Center near Woodman's along Highway 41/45.

Located at N81 W12920 Leon Road, the proposed commercial development is on the agenda for conceptual review.

An amendment to the comprehensive land use plan, as well as a rezoning request to allow commercial development rather than industrial as the land is now zoned, would both need approval prior to the plans moving forward. Both are on the agenda tonight as well.

The commission meets at 6:30 p.m. tonight at Village Hall, W156 N8480 Pilgrim Road.

Germantown approves raises for village staff

March 02, 2015 8:10 p.m. | Germantown — A group of 70 village of Germantown employees will soon see a raise. For some, it will be their first in three years.

At an estimated total amount of about $68,000, the village board voted 6-3 on March 2 to approve a 1.5-percent increase to salaries and wages of non-represented employees and up to 1.5 percent for the public works and technical and clerical union employees, to be finalized in negotiations.

Though there was some disagreement between board members regarding the board's intent to eventually move to a more merit-based raise system, trustee Terri Kaminski said the increase is the least the village can do in the meantime.

"I do not think 1.5 percent is a huge increase and I think our employees deserve it," said Kaminski, adding that employees in both unions have not seen raises since 2011. "When you start squabbling about 1.5 percent and you look at what the surrounding areas are paying, I think we're foolish."

Regardless of the amount in question, the lack of follow through with the merit-based concept is a reason trustee David Baum cited for voting against the change

» Read Full Article

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