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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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MMSD expansion prepares area near CMH in Menomonee Falls for future residential development

3:24 p.m. | Menomonee Falls — A large piece of land near Community Memorial Hospital just got a lot more attractive to future developers.

Prompted by a request by the Gross family, the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District on Jan. 26 approved an 86-acre expansion of the Menomonee Falls sanitary sewer service area to accommodate future residential development.

While the village's comprehensive plan designates most of the land as low-density residential, Director of Community Development Matt Carran confirmed no plans have been submitted for the parcel. Located near the intersection of Town Hall Road and Custer Lane, immediately south of Community Memorial Hospital, recent re-examination of the parcel qualified it for linkage to the MMSD system.

Since the village is split by the sub-continental divide, properties like the one in question are required to have more than half the land be east of the divide to qualify for connection to the system.

"This was simply a fine-tuning of how something looked on a map versus the actual layout of the parcel," Carran explained. In reality, more than half the parcel does actually fall on the right side of the divide. "At some point, this will essentially facilitate smooth development of the land."

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Sussex man receives national award for cleaning house, building relationships

10:44 a.m. | Menomonee Falls — It might not be the first thing that comes to mind for most people when they think about the pest management industry. But for Wil-Kil Pest Control Sales and Service Specialist Bruce Johns, it lays the foundation for every day he goes into work.

"For Bruce, it has always been about building relationships with whomever he comes into contact," said Randy Allen, regional manager for Wil-Kil. "And in our industry, it's all about relationships and open communication with our clients."

His talent working with clients in the field is one of a few reasons why Allen said he nominated Johns for the Pest Control Technology 2014 Technician of the Year Award, which recognizes pest control service professionals in a variety of categories nationwide.

Since joining Wil-Kil Pest Control in 1975, Allen said Johns has continually provided his clients in the food processing and distribution, manufacturing and property management industries with exceptional customer service through his attention to detail, effective communication and dedication to quality service.

"We are thrilled that Bruce has been recognized as a finalist for his outstanding service," said Dale Bauerkemper, vice president and general manager of Wil-Kil. "Throughout the years, Bruce...embodies the values of our company and we are proud to have him as part of our team."

Menomonee Falls opts not to offer new Chapter 220 seats, fewer open enrollment seats in 2015-16

Jan. 29, 2015 3:07 p.m. | Menomonee Falls — There will be fewer new open enrollment and no Chapter 220 seats in the School District of Menomonee Falls next school year.

The Menomonee Falls School Board on Jan. 26 unanimously voted in favor of a district staff recommendation to not offer any Chapter 220 seats and to offer only an additional handful of open enrollment seats than it has in prior years.

A total of 25 spots, split between kindergarten and first and second grade, are proposed for 2015-16, down from 52 this year, according to Director of Pupil Services Kathy Zarling. New students with disabilities will also not be accepted into the district as part of the approval in an effort to make sure teachers are not spread too thin.

Out of the 226 existing open enrollment students throughout the district, 47 students have disabilities, including 23 at the elementary level.

Germantown School District approves less open enrollment, Chapter 220 seats for 2015-16

Jan. 29, 2015 2:43 p.m. | Germantown — There will be a few less Chapter 220 and Open Enrollment seats in Germantown schools next year, as the district plans for another boost in resident enrollment in 2015-16.

The board in a 5-2 vote on Jan. 26 approved a total of 25 combined open enrollment and Chapter 220 seats, spread between grades three through 12. That is a slight decrease from the 34 seats offered last year, which also included spots for incoming second-grade students.

All six available Chapter 220 seats are being offered at the third-grade level, which Secretary to the Superintendent Jayne Borst explained is the earliest grade level available next year to eligible students.

"It's always been our desire (to offer opportunities) in the lowest grades as possible for their benefit so they get the longest educational opportunity with us," Borst explained. "We have noticed the earlier we get the kids, the more in pace they are with the students in Germantown, so we just like to start them as early as possible."

Additional growth anticipated in kindergarten through second grade in 2015-16, combined with existing overcrowding issues in district elementary schools, contributed to the district staff recommendation not to offer seats in grades lower than third this year.

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Answers and winners of the Suburban Selfies contest revealed!

Jan. 29, 2015 1:45 p.m. | We here at Community Newspapers and Lake Country Publications would like to extend a big thank you to everyone who participated in our second annual Suburban Selfies contest. To those who clambered over the snowpiles and toughed out the icy winter winds to get in prime selfie snapping position, we salute you.

And what better thanks could we give than a free dinner?

These three won the east contest (Milwaukee suburbs):

Holly LaVesser of New Berlin takes home the grand prize of a $200 gift card to Bartolotta restaurants.

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Germantown surveys residents on community's needs, wants

Jan. 29, 2015 12:15 p.m. | Germantown — A place to swim, an area for dogs to roam free and added diversity of family-friendly dining options.

If these are things you would like to see happen in Germantown, you are not alone. And your time to speak up is now, as the village has put out a community survey seeking input from residents on priorities that relate to future direction, development and recreational facilities.

"The goal is for village staff and the various commissions and boards to collect feedback from businesses and residents to see what sort of direction they would like to see in a variety of areas throughout the village," explained Park and Recreation Director Justin Casperson. "It's a chance for the village to get involved with the overall planning process in the village."

Postcards were sent out last month directing property and business owners to the village web site to participate. In addition to basic demographic questions, the online survey gets specific about a number of existing amenities and developments in various parts of the village, and asks participants to rank future projects, like a dog park and swimming pool.

Gauging support for dog park, swimming pool

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Menomonee Falls district doesn't change stance on use of Common Core

Jan. 29, 2015 8:47 a.m. | Menomonee Falls — What is in the best interest of the state as a whole is earning support from local school district officials as changes may be in store for Common Core standards in Wisconsin.

In Menomonee Falls, district officials, in a recent letter directed to state legislators, said they would like to see flexibility to innovate and more efficiently aligned resources. But opting out of Common Core State Standards is not something likely to happen any time soon.

"We (focus) our work on the college career readiness standards aligned to ACT," said Supeintendent Pat Greco. "We choose College Career Readiness because ACT is the major transition point for our students to post-secondary education and success after high school."

The ACT College and Career Readiness Standards (CCRS) align with Common Core, which Gov. Scott Walker, in his recent state of the state address, said he wants to see be more flexible for districts in the future.

"I call on the members of the state legislature to pass legislation making it crystal clear that no school district in the state is required to use Common Core standards," Walker said in his address. "Going forward, I want to eliminate any requirement to use Common Core."

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Falls boys rally for first win over Hamilton in three years, 35-29

Jan. 27, 2015 10:20 p.m. | Character, as everybody knows, comes about after bad things happen to people.

Do you respond positively or negatively?

And the Menomonee Falls boys boys basketball team has had a decade's worth of bad things and character-building events happen to them this season.

They've lost eight games by 10 points or less, including a gut-buster to Brookfield Central last Friday when the Lancers went the length of the court in just 1.6 seconds to hit the game-winning 3-pointer.

"Just awful," said senior Indian forward Jake Stauffacher of last Friday's defeat.

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Kindergarten enrollment night set for Feb. 4

Jan. 27, 2015 3:17 p.m. | Menomonee Falls — The School District of Menomonee Falls will hold its four-year-old and five-year-old kindergarten enrollment night at Ben Franklin Elementary School on Wednesday, Feb. 4.

Parents of prospective students are encouraged to sign their children up for school from 5 to 8 p.m. at the school, address.

Presentations on the 4K program will be given at 5 and 6 p.m. A presentation on the 5K program will be given at 7 p.m.

Items for parents to bring for enrollment are on the district website at www.sdmfschools.org.

Children must be four-years-old by Sept. 1 of this year to participate in 4K. They must be five-years-old by Sept. 1 to participate in 5K.

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MMSD approves expansion of Menomonee Falls sewer service area

Jan. 26, 2015 2:26 p.m. | The Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District on Monday approved an 86-acre expansion of the Menomonee Falls sanitary sewer service area to accommodate future residential development.

The parcel is southwest of the intersection of Town Hall Road and Custer Lane, immediately south of Community Memorial Hospital.

Most of the property is recommended for low-density residential neighborhoods under a village comprehensive plan.

Crowds turn out to discuss long-term plans for downtown Germantown

Jan. 26, 2015 10:34 a.m. | Germantown — Steady snowfall and chilly temperatures did not keep dozens of Germantown residents away from Village Hall on the evening of Monday, Jan. 26, as the plan commission welcomed input on plans for the future of the village's downtown area.

Parking overflowed into the library parking lot as a steady flow of residents cycled through the board room, which was packed to the brim with those who wanted to weigh in on a topic that has been discussed at length in recent months.

Prompted by hours of discussion at the commission level, Germantown officials asked for input from village residents on long-term planning for an area they would like to see come together as an entertainment district in the village.

Scope, timing and impact to the neighborhood and village as a whole have been among the priorities the commission has identified thus far, as they are now in the process of reviewing conceptual plans put together by commissioner and trustee David Baum. In general, Baum's plans have been well received, as they incorporate additional access points to the area, including a new road and extra parking options.

However, noise and traffic impacts of a plan for the area remain a primary concern for many residents in attendance, including property owner Richard Thomas.

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Without Showalter, Germantown boys rally for win over Whitefish Bay

Jan. 23, 2015 10:36 p.m. |  

After his team rallied from an eight-point first quarter deficit to pull out a 67-53 North Shore Conference boys basketball decision over a feisty host Whitefish Bay squad, interim Germantown coach Mark Adams first words out of his mouth were:

"I was just glad I could call him and give him the right message (about a victory)," he chuckled.

"Him" being veteran Warhawk coach Steve Showalter, who was laid up all this week while fighting some setbacks in his recovery from some recent arthroscopic knee surgery.

Showalter has fought this same battle against blood clots before and so carefully took the week off as Adams and other assistants ran practice and prepared the Warhawks for the Blue Dukes.

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Senior night a grand success for Menomonee Falls wrestling

Jan. 22, 2015 10:58 p.m. | Veteran Menomonee Falls wrestling coach Jim McMahon is a self-admitted sentimental sort.

"I cry at anything," he said with a chuckle Thursday night after the Indians' 60-6, senior night Greater Metro Conference dual meet win over Brookfield Central.

And what got him the most choked up about Thursday night?

It was paging through the booklet that accompanied the senior night ceremonies. Falls, including managers and assorted other helpers, was sending on their way an impressive total of 17 seniors.

Each senior got a nice photo and a page of information about themselves and their future plans. The final question on that page was "What will you miss most about Falls wrestling?"

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Germantown businesses receive funding for workforce development

Jan. 20, 2015 3:25 p.m. | State Representative Dan Knodl (R) announced today that two businesses from the Assembly District No. 24 have received funding to develop in-demand skills for workers through round three of Governor Scott Walker's Wisconsin Fast Forward (WFF) initiative.

According to a release from the Department of Workforce Development, they intend to award Cambridge Major Laboratories, Inc. a $400,000 grant to train 183 incumbent workers and 99 new hires through a new, industry-specific training program that embeds career development with continuous improvement and learning.

DWD also intends to award KLH Industries, Inc. a $27,721 grant to train 8 incumbent workers and 2 new hires on 3 new high-precision machines for aerospace and defense industry parts production. The training will be provided on-site by private providers and equipment vendors.

"Cambridge Major Laboratories, Inc. and KLH Industries, Inc. are both great businesses," Knodl said. "It is great to see that the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) has recognized their ability to train and further prepare workers for modern day as well as future manufacturing demands."

Germantown Fire Department seeks to enlist additional paid-on-call staff

Jan. 20, 2015 11:22 a.m. | Germantown — "We need you."

That is the message Germantown Fire Chief Gary Weiss is sending out to members of the community as he seeks to grow the paid-on-call staff at the fire department.

"Paid-on-call staff is the backbone of a department," said Weiss, who has been actively working to improve the department since taking it over last May. "It's so important to have a healthy paid-on-call staff because that initial response is so important, especially in a medical emergency."

Both firefighters and emergency medical technicians are needed to supplement an existing POC staff of about 30. Of those, Weiss said about 20 are active and respond regularly to calls. Training will be provided to interested parties, and shifts for POC members rotate on a bi-weekly basis to assist the full-time and part-time members of the department when responding to calls.

A larger POC staff is needed regardless of the outcome of a possible fire department referendum later this year, Weiss added.

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