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Parents, school leaders dissect Falls music program

June 13, 2013 10:45 a.m. | The music department at the Menomonee Falls School District was dissected in a workshop Wednesday that involved parents, teachers, administration and school board members.

The group of selected individuals sat at a table to discuss ways to maintain music programming as the School District was forced to cut $2.4 million from its 2013-14 budget and looks to cut another $2 million the following year as state aid fails to pace with inflation, said Superintendent Pat Greco.

Orchestra is on the list of things that may be cut for the 2014-15 school year and prompted the School Board's Curriculum and Learning Committee to call a music work session that gave an in-depth look at the department. The workshop was also a way for interested parties to generate ideas on how to maintain music programming despite fiscal constraints.

"We have a very difficult couple of years coming up financially," said Committee Chair David Noshay.

One idea the district will pursue is creative scheduling at the elementary and middle school, an idea brought forth by parent Barb Nienow. She said there are ways that cuts can be made by looking at scheduling and teaching all the music courses more efficiently.

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Old Town Inn to reopen Friday as Old Town Beer Hall in Germantown

Sept. 01, 2015 12:21 p.m. | Old Town Beer Hall, formerly known as Old Town Inn, in Germantown recently underwent a $75,000 month-long renovation and will reopen on Friday, owners Chaz Hastings and Josh Neureuther said.

The beer hall concept is a tweak to the business model the owners have implemented at the location that for years was known as Jerry's Old Town Inn, which first opened in the 1970s at N116 W15841 Main St. in Germantown.

The renovations included new bench style seating, hand-painted murals, signage, liter glassware, an authentic German menu and much more. "The work was done to bring back a more social and authentically German atmosphere all year round," the owners said.

Old Town Beer Hall will offer Hofbrau and Weihenstephan biers, German cuisine and live music, the owners said.

Germantown ACT scores second highest in 12 years

Sept. 01, 2015 9:58 a.m. | Germantown — It's that time of year again. ACT scores have been released, and the Germantown School District has again outpaced the state average.

Wisconsin had the second-highest ACT scores in the country, and Germantown scored more than a whole point higher than average.

A total of 267, or about 85 percent, of graduating Germantown seniors students took the ACT in 2014-15, earning a composite score of 23.8. The score is up 0.6 points over last year, and is the second highest in the last 12 years.

"We have dedicated teachers at all grade levels who work relentlessly to meet the needs of all students," said Director of Teaching and Learning Brenda O'Brien. "We have families who are very supportive of and actively involved in the education of their children."

In the future, O'Brien said the district plans to continue to building upon its success.

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More changes in store for Pilgrim Road near Highway 41/45

Sept. 01, 2015 9:48 a.m. | Menomonee Falls — The good news is the Pilgrim Road on ramp to northbound Highway 41/45 is set to reopen for the first time since May. The bad news is the offramp to northbound Pilgrim Road will now be closed.

The on ramp will open at 8 p.m. Sept. 2, and the offramp will close at 5 a.m. Sept. 3.

Construction on the main thoroughfare has taken the majority of the summer, including a variety of traffic pattern changes and ramp closures.

The offramp is scheduled to reopen in late fall of 2015. Until then, the signed detour takes drivers to the Main Street exit, then west to Pilgrim Road.

The existing long term closures of the northbound US 41/45 off-ramp to southbound Pilgrim Road and the southbound US 41/45 off-ramp to Pilgrim Road will remain in effect.

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Menomonee Falls swimmers second in Northstar Invitational

Sept. 01, 2015 9:13 a.m. | Using its depth to great advantage, the Menomonee Falls/Sussex Hamilton girls swimming team finished a strong second in the seven-school Waukesha North Northstar Invite on Aug. 26.

"It was a big meet for us," said coach Kelsey Ogle. "... The meet was very very close and came down to the last few events, and we were able to get second. This was huge for our team, and we definitely have this program going in the right direction."

The Indians will now be off until their Greater Metro Conference opening dual on Thursday, Sept. 10, against DSHA.

Falls/Hamilton scored 617 points for its spot in the North meet as the host school (a co-op with Kettle Moraine) won with 709, and Oconomowoc was third with 610.

The North pool is measured out in meters as opposed to the traditional yards, so times were much slower in comparison, but Ogle liked the competitive nature of the team at the event.

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SPORTS SHORTS: Sept. 3

Sept. 01, 2015 9:08 a.m. |

MENOMONEE FALLS CROSS COUNTRY

The Indian boys and girls got their seasons off to a positive start with strong finishes at their own Falls Grade Level Challenge at Rotary Park on Aug. 27.

Coach Tom Shannon said both the girls and the boys will be very young this season but show great opportunity for improvement.

For the boys, the top individual finish came in the freshmen/sophomore race as sophomore Tom Goihlwas fourth out of well over 100 runners on the 5,000-meter course in 18 minutes, four seconds. Freshman Logan Hipps was seventh in that race at 18:34 and freshman Braden Herveywas 16th (19:21.9).

In the junior/senior race, senior Tyler Smalley, the only returning starter from last year's first seven, was 18th in 17:44 while senior Jayce Kolinskiwas 24th (17:52). Other good efforts included junior Josh Ebnerturning in a 19:03 time.

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Germantown native works hard, gains experience at Arlington research station

Aug. 31, 2015 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

Aug. 31, 2015 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.

Almost.

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 and 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 women charged with a combined nine counts of credit card fraud after CVS purchases

Aug. 25, 2015 1:35 p.m. | Menomonee Falls — A pair 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 said 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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