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Menomonee Falls High School selects new associate principal

July 08, 2013 11:34 a.m. | Casey Blochowiak was named the new associate principal at Menomonee Falls High School, pending School Board approval tonight.

Blochowiak is taking the Falls position after working as a reading specialist and social studies teacher at Mukwonago High School. There, she served as the reading department chair and RISE program coordinator. She has worked as the Teaching and Learning Committee chair, secondary chair of the Reading Content Area Team, and has served as a member of the School Improvement Steering Committee, Universal Team and the Common Core Standards Committee, according to a press release issued from the Menomonee Falls School District.

Blochowiak holds a master's degree in education from Concordia University and an administration degree. She has spent seven years in education, the last six at Mukwonago. She won the district's 7-12 Specialty Educator of the Year Award in 2010-11.

The Menomonee Falls School District's hiring team highlighted Blochowiak's depth of understanding and experience in many of the initiatives Menomonee Falls is focusing on as a district, and her passion and commitment to serving and supporting students, according to the press release.

Auction for YMCAs called off after no new bidders emerge

Sept. 22, 2014 6:31 p.m. | No new bidders emerged for the four YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee centers the organization plans to sell as part of its bankruptcy proceedings, so an auction set for next week has been canceled, agency officials announced Monday.

No new qualified bidders to submitted offers by a deadline of 5 p.m. Monday, according to a statement issued by the Y.

The next step is for a court hearing Sept. 30 to consider approval of the existing offer to purchase the Southwest Y in Greenfield, Tri-County in Menomonee Falls and West Suburban in Wauwatosa by the YMCA of Central Waukesha County for $7 million in cash at closing, plus a possible $1 million more based on earnings in the next two years.

At that time the court will also consider the offer by the Kettle Moraine YMCA to purchase the Feith Family Ozaukee YMCA in Saukville for $2 million cash at closing.

"The process has reaffirmed that the offers from the Waukesha and Kettle Moraine Y's represent the fair value of these properties," said Julie Tolan, president and CEO of the YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee.

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Small plane crashes in Lannon

Sept. 22, 2014 12:16 p.m. | A small plane has crashed near Lannon and Good Hope Roads in the village of Lannon, according to the Waukesha County Sheriff dispatch and multiple media reports.

Authorities on the scene of where an ultralight aircraft may have had an emergency landing near the Bug Line Recreational Trail.

Some reports have said the plane crashed into some trees.

Preps football photos of the week: Sept. 19

Sept. 19, 2014 11:22 p.m. | Big conference games and intercity rivalries were a big part of high school football as the season continued in Week 5 on Sept. 19.

Now Newspapers and Lake Country Publications compiled the best photos shared on social media featuring teams from our coverage area, predominantly in Milwaukee and Waukesha counties.

Here's the best sights and sounds from Week 5.

Big plays help Falls fly past rival Hamilton

Sept. 19, 2014 10:54 p.m. | Bryce McMurtry said he didn't notice the helicopter. He was too busy flying down the field himself.

The Menomonee Falls quarterback found a seam and sprinted 79 yards for a touchdown, finally breaking a scoreless deadlock early in the third quarter with local rival Sussex Hamilton. With a news helicopter overhead capturing the scene, Falls procured its first points of the game and emerged with a 13-3 victory that put Hamilton's back against the wall in the race for a playoff spot.

"We sent a guy in motion and they're thinking that's the way it's going each time," McMurtry said. "Our linemen made a great hole for me to run through, and I just accelerated through."

It was one of two big plays Falls needed to eke past an otherwise stingy Hamilton defense. On the first play of the fourth quarter, McMurtry lofted a 53-yard touchdown pass to Brady Schneider, accounting for the night's final points.

"Our defense was doing a good job," McMurtry said. "It was 0-0 (at halftime), we had them right where we wanted to. We just had to put some points on the board at that point."

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Kohl's announces holiday hiring plans

Sept. 18, 2014 10:42 a.m. | Menomonee Falls — Kohl's Department stores is seeking to hire more than 67,000 associates nationwide this holiday season to support seasonal business in stores as well as growth in online shopping at

Kohl's anticipates hiring an average of 50 associates per store, according to a news release, in addition to 9,300 seasonal positions at distribution centers across the country and approximately 670 seasonal credit operations positions.

Hiring began this month, and most jobs will be filled by mid-November. Holiday positions are also being filled at the company's distribution centers, where hiring began in August.

Associates working at distribution centers help ensure Kohl's products get to the retail stores and into the hands of customers, according to the release.

"Kohl's is building a winning team by hiring more than 67,000 seasonal associates across the country to ensure we sustain the great service our customers know and have come to expect," said Richard Schepp, Kohl's senior executive vice president, human resources and general counsel."By adding these associates, Kohl's will continue to deliver an enjoyable and convenient shopping experience to all our valued customers, whether they choose to shop in store or online at this holiday season."

Hassless Mattress opens 4 worker-less retail outlets

Sept. 17, 2014 4:06 p.m. | Hassless Mattress, a retail business spun out of the Penny Mustard furniture chain, has opened four Milwaukee-area stores with an unusual twist — no employees are on hand to staff the locations.

The outlets open and close remotely, and are fitted with security cameras that can be monitored over the Internet. The shops are stocked with mattress that customers can order from a computer or by phone. The firm delivers from a warehouse in Greendale.

The business model is somewhat similar to that of laundromats, but is being used to sell a product rather than a service. One decades-long observer of the mattress industry said he'd never heard of anything like it.

Running the business is Weston Huth, a nephew of Penny Mustard owners Arvid and Ben Huth. The three men are co-owners of Hassless Mattress.

The stores are at 7740 W. Layton Ave., Greenfield; 18110 W Blue Mound Road, Town of Brookfield; 11018 N Port Washington Road, Mequon; and W188-N10707 Maple Road, Germantown.

Habitat for Humanity Opens ReStore in Germantown

Sept. 17, 2014 11:23 a.m. | Germantown — A new store in Germantown is bringing a sense of community full circle.

Habitat for Humanity of Washington and Dodge counties recently opened a furniture resale shop called ReStore in the former home of Barewood Furniture along Highway 41/45.

Joining sister stores in Beaver Dam and West Bend, the store features everything from furniture to construction materials, which Habitat for Humanity Marketing Facilitator Eric Oliver said brings life to their international mission, "a world where everyone has a decent place to live."

"It is our goal to help provide affordable housing for people who need it," Oliver said. "Just because Menomonee Falls and Germantown might be thought of as more affluent communities doesn't mean there is not a need for low cost, affordable places to live."

The store, which Oliver said will become a central hub, takes donations of items from the community, which its staff of mostly volunteers sell back to the community at competitive prices that all benefit Habitat for Humanity.

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Plans confirmed for modern industrial development in Menomonee Falls

Sept. 15, 2014 8:39 p.m. | Menomonee Falls — It will not be ChemWorks, but something new could soon be developed at the former concrete block manufacturing plant at N5998 Lilly Road.

As part of the now-approved improvements in what has become the village's 12th tax-incremental financing district, the controversial 21.6-acre parcel will most likely become home to a light manufacturing business sometime in the next couple of years.

Though hundreds of neighboring residents turned out at several village meetings to protest the development of the waste water treatment plant proposal, the TIF plan made it through the approval process with almost no objections.

The village board, on Sept. 15, approved the project plan for TIF No. 12 along the east and west sides of Lilly Road, north of Silver Spring Drive in the Manhardt Drive area.

Trustee Jeremy Walz was the lone vote against the plan, questioning the need to include the land to the west of Lilly Road in the plans, which calls for rezoning the majority of the 107.5 acres from heavy industrial to light industrial to facilitate the development of up to seven businesses.

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Menomonee Falls Village Board approves sale of Radisson Hotel

Sept. 15, 2014 7:59 a.m. | Menomonee Falls — The future of the Radisson Hotel is no longer in question. On Sept. 15, the Menomonee Falls Village Board authorized a purchase and sale agreement that incorporates an $8.5 million sale of the hotel to a new investment group that intends to retain the Radisson name.

Offers on the property ranged from $7.7 to $8.985 million, according to attorney Randy Crocker of von Briesen & Roper SC who said the agreement with Izabella Investments LLC is "in the (village's) best interest considering the circumstances."

Earnest money of $200,000 has already been received on the purchase, which could close as soon as Oct. 15 pending court approval.

In the meantime, L. W. Biff Hawkey Jr. of Hostmark Hospitality Group said he has big plans for the hotel once Hostmark takes over its management.

"Your Radisson is one of the more exciting opportunities we've seen in the past 15-20 years," said Hawkey, who is the senior vice president of development for Hostmark.

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Preps football photos of the week: Sept. 12

Sept. 12, 2014 10:22 p.m. | The football season continued in Week 4 with colder-than-normal weather and spotty precipitation Sept. 12.

Now Newspapers and Lake Country Publications compiled the best photos shared on social media featuring teams from our coverage area, predominantly in Milwaukee and Waukesha counties.

Here's the best sights and sounds from Week 4.

Lancers dominate Falls, 21-0, in GMC action

Sept. 12, 2014 9:45 p.m. | Brookfield Central tossed a shutout at Menomonee Falls, 21-0, Friday night at home in a steady rain and remained unbeaten in Greater Metro Conference action.
The Lancers (3-1) improved to 2-0, tied with Marquette for first place in the GMC, while the Indians (2-2) fell to 1-1 in league play.

“This is a huge win for us,” coach Jed Kennedy said. “We think there are a lot of teams in the Greater Metro that are kind of all the same. There is no room for error. If you lose a game, it’s going to be tough.

"We told our kids all week, this has to have a playoff feel to it. We thought it was that important a game to get off to the right start.”

And the Lancers did that, taking the opening kickoff and going 64 yards in 11 plays, as Malik Turner raced around right end to give Central a 7-0 lead with 8 minutes, 59 seconds on the clock. Buck Nellen the kicked the first of three  extra points Friday night.

The Lancers then held Falls to a 3-and-out and went 50 yards on 10 plays, with quarterback Dominic Labellarte scoring from 2-yards out for a 14-0 lead with 2:42 left in the first quarter.

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Police searching for 2 men for armed robbery at Craigslist sale

Sept. 12, 2014 7:32 a.m. | Germantown — Area police are searching for two suspects in connection to an alleged armed robbery that occurred on Sept. 11 in the parking lot of McDonald's, N96 W17512 County Line Road.

A 49-year-old Fond du Lac man came to the restaurant parking lot to purchase an undisclosed number of cell phones from an individual who listed them on Craigslist, according to a new release by the Germantown Police Department.

Police responded to the scene at about 7:30 p.m. to speak with the victim, who said he was confronted in the parking lot by two armed males who were driving what the man described as an "older model black Pontiac Sunfire or Chevy Cavelier with black rims in beat up condition," according to the release.

"They pointed a gun at him, took his money and took his car," Germantown Police Chief Peter Hoell said.

One of the suspects left in the victim's Toyota Camry, and the other suspect left in the black vehicle the victim described.

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Doran's "Pick 6" sparks Germantown to 48-31 win over Cedarburg

Sept. 11, 2014 11:22 p.m. | Two plays, a halftime apart, but virtually next to each in terms of playing time changed momentum for good as the Germantown football team ended six years of frustrating loses to rival Cedarburg with an entertaining 48-31 victory over the Bulldogs Thursday night.

"They were the last team I hadn't beaten yet (in conference)," said fourth year coach Jake Davis. "I don't think I had beaten them since high school (when he was a center for powerful Homestead teams)."

Senior receiver/defensive end Steve Doran put it even more succiently.

"It's like Carter Schmitz said in the (post-game) huddle. It's not a rivalry until you beat someone."

But tonight the Warhawks (4-0) were determined to beat the Bulldogs and the two plays were the key. One was one part riverboat gambler, one part great skill and then two parts luck, while the other was 100 percent pure talent.

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Menomonee Falls High School student named National Merit Scholarship semifinalist

Sept. 11, 2014 3:04 p.m. | Menomonee Falls — It is a rare honor, but for the second year in a row, the Menomonee Falls School District has a National Merit Scholar semifinalist to call its own.

When Menomonee Falls High School senior Nick Wagner received word that he had become one of 16,000 students who made it to the semifinals for the coveted honor, he did what anyone would do.

"I threw myself into the research," he said, enthusiastically.

After his guidance counselor pulled him out of class in the middle the school day Sept. 8, he said he couldn't help but want to learn as much as possible about the next steps in the process.

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation publicly announced the names of the qualifying students a couple of days later, informing students they will have the opportunity to compete for 7,600 National Merit Scholarships, worth about $33 million.

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Germantown to consider long-term plan for downtown district

Sept. 11, 2014 12:21 p.m. | Germantown — A request for additional parking to service two popular Germantown restaurants on Main Street has sparked a conversation by village officials on the need for a larger long-term plan for the area.

The Village Board on Sept. 15 unanimously approved a conditional-use permit allowing an off-site parking area to service overflow parking from patrons of Old Town Inn and Von Rothenburg Bier Stube. The request proposes to convert an existing residential lot into a 52-space parking area similar to the nearby lot built in 2010 for Gehl Foods.

The need for additional parking along the thoroughfare sparked conversation at the Plan Commission and again at the Village Board about the need for a neighborhood plan for the area.

"I'm not so much opposed to (the parking lot) as I am concerned about the long-term planning of this area," said Trustee David Baum, who agreed that there is a need for parking in the area.

Despite that need, Baum said he fears that the practice of purchasing nearby residential properties to convert them into parking lots is becoming a trend that could stand in the way of the development of the village's closest thing to a downtown area.

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