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Falls receives safe city award

Feb. 18, 2013 2:20 p.m. | The village of Menomonee Falls was recently named one of the safest cities in America.

This honor was received from the neighborhood research site Neighborhood Scout, which looked at cities with a population of over 25,000. The award will be presented in front of the Menomonee Falls Village Board at 6:30 p.m. Monday at Village Hall, N8480 Pilgrim Road, according to Police Chief Anna Ruzinski.

The award was unsolicited and based on the total number of crimes per 1,000 residents. Data used for the research included the total crimes in the village reported to the FBI, as well as the total population.

Crime statistics reflect the 2011 calendar year, which are the most recent vetted by the FBI.

To learn more about the ranking, visit

Germantown native works hard, gains experience at Arlington research station

10:58 a.m. | Germantown — Before this summer, University of Wisconsin-Madison junior Troy Valle's closest experience to being on a farm was operating the family lawn mower.

A few short months later, Valle said he has operated just about every tractor in Arlington, where he has spent the last several months working on an insect monitoring project that sends him into the fields to gather data from varying types of insect traps.

"I hadn't so much as stepped foot on a farm before," said Valle, who grew up in Germantown. "Now I'm experienced at walking fields and identifying potential insect and weed problems."

The internship is one of several practical internship experiences offered to undergraduate students in the University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences program. Valle's internship was split between the Arlington Agricultural Research Station and a research lab at UW-Madison, where he observed pesticide resistance, specifically in Colorado potato beetles.

"It has been a great pleasure having Troy as part of our program, which is aimed at taking the classroom lessons and bringing them into the real world," said Jeff Breuer, assistant superintendent for the Arlington Agricultural Research Station. "These experiences are irreplaceable and offer valuable additional learning that is so important to a student's education."

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Turnovers do in Menomonee Falls football team in loss to Superior

10:23 a.m. | It was a fun day for the Menomonee Falls football team on its road trip to D.C. Everest on Aug. 28 to play Superior in a nonconference game.


The road trip began well with a nice lunch at Subway and a side trip up to UW-Stevens Point to visit the Pointer football team, which has a few Falls alumni on it. Then on a rainy day, the officials at Everest let the Indians warm-up in the Evergreens' spacious field house.

And even after a shaky start against Superior, which included a fumble return for a TD, the Indians found their footing fairly quickly, scoring three unanswered TDs in the first half for a 20-7 lead.

It was still 20-10 heading into the fourth.

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Get interesting prep football tidbits and insights with 'First and Short' blog

Aug. 28, 2015 1:03 p.m. | Keep an eye on JR Radcliffe's new blog, "First and Short," for fresh takes on prep football in Lake Country and the Milwaukee suburbs.

School District of Menomonee Falls happy with ACT results

Aug. 28, 2015 10:28 a.m. | Menomonee Falls — Wisconsin has the second-highest ACT scores in the country, and the School District of Menomonee Falls scored well above that.

A total of 316, or 77 percent, of graduating Falls seniors students took the ACT in 2014-15, earning a composite score of 23.5.

"We are pleased that the hard work of our students and staff is paying off. Along with our record Advanced Placement test participation and performance, we continue to raise the bar on education in Menomonee Falls," said Corey Colla, principal at Menomonee Falls High School.

The state composite score is 22.1, with a participation rate of 63 percent of public graduates, according to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. Nationally, 59 percent of graduates took the ACT with a composite score of 21.

"Our teachers have done tremendous work the last four years to align assessments and units with the ACT college and career readiness standards," said Director of Curriculum and Learning Gary Kiltz. "We are deeply committed to preparing our students for college and their careers."

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Updated weekly rankings of area prep football teams and players

Aug. 27, 2015 2:25 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.

Menomonee Falls volleyball team opens season with win over Nicolet

Aug. 26, 2015 10:07 p.m. | After winning the school's first state girls volleyball title in 2013, Menomonee Falls slid under the radar last season following big graduation losses.

Now working with what he calls "his deepest squad ever", Indian coach J.C. Bruns said he likes the idea of his Indians laying low and out of sight for the time being in 2015 too as they prepare to make a run back towards elite status.

The Indians may have a hard time staying quiet for long, as despite missing starting setter Mckenna Micech due to an injury, they still overpowered strong area nonconference foe Nicolet, 25-15, 25-19, 19-25, 25-12, in their season opener Wednesday night.

"I really like this group," he said "It's a nice mix of young and old. The young will push the old to get better and the old will show the young what they have to do out there (to succeed)."

One of the "old ones" will be 6-2 junior outside hitter Mackenzie Robertson. Robertson was a rightside hitter last year, but during the club season with the Milwaukee Sting, she transitioned over to the outside. She has also started playing of a more all-around game and looked as comfortable playing in the backrow as she did in the front tonight.

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Suspect released in hit-and-run killing of Germantown bicyclist

Aug. 25, 2015 3:14 p.m. | Germantown police have arrested a suspect in a hit-and-run crash Sunday night that killed a bicyclist, but the department said Tuesday that the suspect had been released.

The victim was identified Monday as Keith L. Habenicht, a 50-year-old Germantown resident. He was hit and killed about 8:15 p.m. Sunday while on Appleton Ave. just south of Mequon Road. Police believe he was heading home from Subway.

Police announced the arrest overnight Monday in a post on Facebook but provided little other information at the time, saying they still were asking the public for information about the crash.

The Facebook post was updated Tuesday to say that the suspect, the owner of the vehicle, had been released after conferring with prosecutors.

"We feel confident that's the car involved," Chief Peter Hoell said Tuesday.

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Falls on the Riverwalk seeks to replace former Associated Bank building with apartments

Aug. 25, 2015 2:08 p.m. | Menomonee Falls — The landscape of an area in the heart of Village Centre could soon look a lot different.

A development featuring commercial space and 120 apartments known as Riverwalk on the Falls is being proposed for land north of Main Street, east of Grand Avenue overlooking the Menomonee River and Mill Pond Park.

The proposal, presented by Wimmer Communities, has been met with mixed reviews by the Village Board, who approved the developer's agreement in a 4-3 vote earlier this month.

Trustees Jeremy Walz, Katie Kress and Chris Smolik voted against the approval of the agreement, which incorporates the use of about $4 million in tax-incremental financing (TIF) dollars to support the development.

"It's a beautiful project, and a beautiful building .. . it would be a real gem on the river there," Smolik said. "If it's a $23 million project (and) we're putting in $4 million dollars, that bothers me. We're still using dollars that could be spent elsewhere for this."

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Menomonee Falls football team stunned by inspired Oak Creek, 26-0

Aug. 25, 2015 1:58 p.m. | While on the phone with a skeptical radio reporter after his team's surprisingly impressive 26-0 win over visiting Menomonee Falls in the season opener Aug. 21, Oak Creek football coach Mike Bartholomew could only laugh and say:

"I said we'd be inexperienced, I didn't say we weren't any good."

And that much his young Knights proved, as despite the loss of 30-plus seniors from a Southeast Conference co-championship squad of a year ago and despite four turnovers against Falls, they had the lead from the opening drive and never gave Falls a real opportunity to get into the game.

"I think I said that I really liked the vibe on this team," Bartholomew later extrapolated. "Now can you define that? With this group it means work ethic, discipline, and unselfishness, and that can make a really big difference."

A great example of that came late in the fourth quarter. The Knights were already in firm control at 19-0 and were driving again. A Jakup Sinani pass intended for Roy Harden was picked off by the Indians' Kam Walker.

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Chicago duo face nine counts of credit card fraud after CVS purchases

Aug. 25, 2015 1:35 p.m. | Menomonee Falls — A duo of Chicago woman are charged with a combined total of nine counts of credit card fraud after they allegedly used fraudulent cards to purchase numerous Visa gift cards at CVS Pharmacy on Aug. 21.

Jhanay Richardson, 22, and Shadonna Turner, 20, were arrested after police conducted a routine business check at CVS around 1:20 a.m. Aug. 21. During the check, the clerk on duty asked police if it would be suspicious for someone to buy multiple gift cards for hundreds of dollars all at one time.

Richardson and Turner were at the store about 40 minutes earlier, according to the criminal complaint, and the employee said she felt it was "suspicious that both individuals made purchases but each gift card was on a separate order," the complaint said.

The employee stated that at one point she was requested to check the credit card before conducting the purchase and she noticed that the last four digits on the credit card did not actually match the hard copy of the credit card that was presented to her.

When police located the women at the Walgreens across the street, they observed an odor of burned marijuana coming from the vehicle, and located an aluminum grinder inside the trunk of the vehicle, according to the complaint.

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Menomonee Falls School District names new communications director

Aug. 25, 2015 1:33 p.m. | Menomonee Falls — She's an award-winning journalist with experience as a photographer, editor and reporter. And now she will serve the School District of Menomonee Falls as its new director of communications and community outreach and assistant to the superintendent.

Megan Sheridan has been named as the replacement for Mitch Maersch, who will continue to participate in district event coverage as a freelancer after working with the district for almost four years.

"I am pleased to welcome Megan to the district," said Superintendent Pat Greco. "She is a creative problem solver that will bring social media savvy, a passion for service and dedication to communicating with others to the position."

Sheridan formerly worked at daily and weekly newspapers in Oshkosh, Beaver Dam and Columbus, and most recently she was a communications specialist and copywriter at an advertising agency in Madison.

Sheridan will be responsible for developing relationships within the district and the community; developing communication and engagement plans; and providing coverage of events for all schools and Community Education and Recreation.

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Initial Reaction Podcast: What stood out on the first week of high-school football?

Aug. 25, 2015 11:25 a.m. | JP and JR talk about the rise of the Franklin Sabers, a big battle between Arrowhead and Homestead, strong wins for Oak Creek and Germantown and other notes from the first week of football. Plus: the guys differ on whether the Packers will survive the Jordy Nelson injury.

Sport Shorts: Aug. 27, 2015

Aug. 24, 2015 7:38 p.m. |


Overcoming the Warhawks' individual firepower, the Indians opened the season with a 93-77 nonconference dual meet victory over their area rivals, 93-77, on Aug. 20.

"Germantown was a team effort; we only won four events, but our depth is what won us the meet;" said Indian coach Kelsey Ogle. "Our girls never took sixth (in an individual race), so we were always scoring points, and that's what it takes to win dual meets."

The Indians have 33 swimmers out this fall and will be led by tri-captains Tina Seiler, Sarah Liedtke(both seniors) and junior Maya Kreiter.

"We are very young. With 22 girls being underclassman and only 11 upperclassmen, we are going to rely on the leadership of our captains to lead this young team to yet another successful season," said coach Kelsey Ogle. "We have a lot of girls with competitive swimming experience, and we are going to use that to our advantage. We will be able to spread out a little bit more and mix up our lineup more than we have in the past."

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Rebuilding Germantown impressive in win over Kenosha

Aug. 24, 2015 2:13 p.m. | With so many new faces out there, there was no way Germantown football coach Jake Davis and his staff were going to know what they really had until they faced some serious, live competition.

Now, Davis and the Warhawks know they might have something pretty good out there. Behind senior quarterback Nate Seymour's three TD passes and a stout first-half defense, they cruised to a 28-14 opening game victory over host Kenosha Indian Trail on Aug. 21.

"This was a big one for us," Davis said. "We looked at our schedule and identified this one early as one we really needed because of all the talk about all the people we had lost last year (30-plus seniors).

"I really liked how we worked together, and I really liked our focus. We were really fast and physical, and the defense did a really nice job. We like to schedule some tough games like this early on."

The Warhawks will need to ratchet up the intensity some for this Friday's home opener at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 28, when high-powered and state-ranked Catholic Memorial comes to visit. The Crusaders routed Milwaukee Riverside, 50-0, in their season opener on Aug. 21.

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Young Menomonee Falls soccer team to build on success of 2014

Aug. 24, 2015 1:38 p.m. | The 2014 WIAA state runner-up trophy for the Menomonee Falls boys soccer team sits proudly encased by glass in the high school.

A first in the program's history.

Also on display are the WIAA sectional title plaques for both the boys and the girls, also firsts.

Now it's a new year, and the happy hangover from the great 2014-15 school year for the Indian soccer programs is still lingering.

But veteran coach Scott Stein would just like to see a few more faces back from that great 18-4-4 boys squad of last fall as a very green Indian squad opened its season on Aug. 25 against Milwaukee Messmer.

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