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Falls fire chief leaves post

July 10, 2013 2:41 p.m. | Menomonee Falls Fire Department Chief Jeffrey Hevey has left his post to take a new position in Texas.

Hevey's last day with the Falls Fire Department was July 5, confirmed Menomonee Falls Chief of Police Anna Ruzinski. Word initially surfaced on social media in June that Hevey was leaving for Texas, but he would not comment until details were finalized.

Donald Umhoefer is serving as the acting fire chief.

Hevey was named fire chief of the Harris County Emergency Service District No. 48, which is located in western Harris County between Houston and Katy, Texas. The district services a community of more than 100,000 people within a 45-square mile area.

Hevey was appointed as the Menomonee Falls Fire Department chief in January 2009.

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Across Wisconsin, uneven property assessments fly in the face of fairness

Oct. 19, 2014 9:55 a.m. | A Milwaukee Journal Sentinel investigation found inappropriate reductions in property assessments creating an unfair system. In dozens of communities across Wisconsin, 20% or more of taxes are being paid by the wrong people.

Marquette ends Menomonee Falls' dream of GMC football title

Oct. 17, 2014 10:54 p.m. | With a non-existent passing attack, a highly suspect punt game, and a red-hot opponent playing at home, the odds were long against Menomonee Falls earning a share of its first Greater Metro Conference title in 10 years Friday night against powerhouse Marquette

But there the Indians were at Hart Park midway through the third quarter, with a first down at the Marquette 18-yard line, a tie score of 21-all, an opportunity to go ahead and a chance at history.

However, it was not to be. The Indians stalled on that drive when the field goal was missed and three series later, Hilltopper receiver Jake Matkovich made a spectacular catch and run of a Charlie Greif deep post pattern.

Matkovich turned his body around and snagged the ball in a clean, fluid motion. Then he turned upfield for a 77-yard TD to make it 28-21 Marquette with 7:20 to go.

The Indians, who lost top offensive lineman Matt Henningsen to a leg injury a couple of series earlier, could not recover as the Hilltoppers would go on to win the outright league title with a 30-21 decision.

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Preps football photos of the week: Week 9

Oct. 17, 2014 10:18 p.m. | The regular season of the 2014 high school football season came to a close for area teams Oct. 17.

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 9.

Germantown High School alumni wins gold at Warrior Games

Oct. 17, 2014 10:52 a.m. | Germantown — She is not an amputee. She doesn't have irreparable damage to her face. She is not in a wheelchair.

But just because Jen Kyseth's scars aren't visible to passer-by doesn't mean they don't run deep.

A retired major from the United States Navy, Kyseth has a disability that she says has been just as mentally and physically crippling as any wound you can see with the naked eye. A champion of others like her, that is one of a few reasons why she said her recent gold medal finish in recumbent cycling at the 2014 Warrior Games means so much.

"There is a bit of a misconception about Wounded Warriors," said Kyseth, who is a 1995 alumni of Germantown High School. "First of all, the injury doesn't have to be combat related, but maybe the bigger deal is things like brain injuries, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other injuries that aren't recognizable."

For Kyseth, the injury was not combat related or visible, as she suffers from a degenerative disc disease that has reeked havoc on her lower back and prompts an ongoing battle with chronic nerve pain.

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Two Germantown Police Officers injured after car chase

Oct. 17, 2014 8:05 a.m. | Germantown — A 36-year-old Germantown man is custody this morning after a stolen vehicle chase resulted in two Germantown Police Department officer injuries on Thursday, Oct. 16.

At about 6:45 p.m., Germantown officers located a stolen vehicle from Menomonee Falls being operated by the man in the vicinity of Appleton Avenue and Lannon Road, according to a news release. The man had just been involved with a disturbance at a grocery store in Richfield. Officers attempted to stop the stolen vehicle, but the man refused to stop and a four-mile vehicle pursuit began, according to the release.

The driver suddenly stopped the vehicle at the Radisson Hotel in Menomonee Falls, and would not comply with officers' attempts to take him into custody.

A brief struggle occurred between the suspect and officers before the suspect was successfully taken into custody. The man broke skin as he bit the Lieutenant Dave Huesemann's hand, and officer Dave Pierzchalski fractured his leg during the struggle. Huesemann tested negative for HIV and hepatitis, and Pierzchalski will be out an undetermined amount of time, according to Police Chief Peter Hoell.

"This is an example of how police work can be fast, fluid and unpredictably dangerous," Hoell said. "We train hard to avoid injuries and or worse, death to ourselves and others, but sometime bad things happen. Bad things are sometimes unavoidable."

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Workouts happen around the clock at the Germantown Police Department

Oct. 16, 2014 3:14 p.m. | Germantown — A fitness center is probably not the first thing to come to mind when thinking of a police officer's affiliation with a great escape. Yet that is what several members of the Germantown Police Department are calling their lower level oasis of elipticals, treadmills and kettlebells.

Thanks mostly to the generosity of donations from businesses and residents in the community, as well as donations from employees and officers of the department, the fitness center is now triple the size it was when it first came to fruition more than 20 years ago. Over the course of the past couple of weeks, flat screen TVs, updated equipment, and new flooring have all been added to the space, which recently underwent its third expansion.

"I think the public expects to see a physically fit police officer," said Lieutenant Thomas Schreihart, who regularly uses the fitness area. "We all have that doughnut eating persona, and we all do like our doughnuts, but we all like to be physically fit, not just for health reasons but ultimately for the betterment of the community."

Their efforts have not gone unnoticed, as recent donations from companies like Premier Flooring, Brummer Property Services, LLC, and All American Windows demonstrate support for the cause.

"I had the flooring just lying around after a client didn't like its coloring," said Les Brummer of Brummer Property Services. "When the department called on me for help, I didn't think twice. It was a no-brainer."

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Early Childhood Center plans hit roadblock, crowding remains an issue

Oct. 16, 2014 11:33 a.m. | Germantown — As space and overcrowding remain an issue in Germantown schools, officials are headed back to the drawing board yet again after plans for a new off-site early childhood education center hit a roadblock.

The school board has for several months been considering options for the program, which serves special needs students between the ages of 3 and 5 years old. There is not room for the program elsewhere in the district, which prompted district officials to pursue three off-site locations. Though the original goal was to move the program into one of three possible locations by the start of the 2014-15 school year, an issue with state funding has brought that plan to a halt.

"The Department of Public Instruction rules say you can't just move special needs children out of a location based on overcrowding and I think that's part of the rub," explained Director of Business and Auxiliary Services Ric Ericksen. "The new DPI director, who has some fresh ideas and fresh initiatives decided that we would be violating that federal rule and therefore risking federal flow through funding for the early childhood program."

The impact of funding on the program is something Ericksen said he questioned early in the process, and had received mixed responses about throughout his research on the matter.

"I wasn't about to say let's go ahead and implement this program change only to have them go into conflict with me that it was a cost that is a violation of flow through funding," he said. "On the one hand they can site the statement about this, on the other hand they're implying that if DPI signs off on it then it might be OK, but that's a process and a process I don't think our director and administrative team was willing to risk."

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St. Boniface Apple Pie Production raises money for local charities

Oct. 16, 2014 10:40 a.m. | Germantown — St. Boniface School will be making more than $4,000 in pies for their sixth annual Homemade Dutch Apple Pie fundraiser Friday, Oct. 17 and Saturday, Oct. 18.

This production of pies is not only fun to watch but brings everyone together to strengthen our community. Located at St. Boniface School, W204N11968 Goldendale Road, the event will take place from 6 a.m. to 9:15 p.m. Friday and 5:30 a.m. to 6:15 p.m. Saturday.

The money raised by the apple pie sale will go toward the school. Pies that were donated will be sent to Ellen's home, the VFW and the St. Boniface Food Pantry.

Parks planning to begin for Village Park, new park

Oct. 15, 2014 8:34 a.m. | Menomonee Falls — Improvements to the old and planning for the new will begin tonight, Oct. 16 for parks in Menomonee Falls.

A public information meeting will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. at Village Hall, W156 N8480 Pilgrim Road, to discuss upgrades to several components of Village Park, as well as the development of a new park on the southwest area of the village. The meeting will be the first step in the process of developing a master plan for both parks, to be funded through capital dollars in the village budget in future years.

"A master plan for a park is exactly what it sounds like," explained Director of Engineering Services Tom Hoffman. "It's a plan of what you want to do with the park long-term: what type of facilities do you want to put in it, what type of infrastructure you want to have, so we want to have a plan."

Located downtown at Appleton Avenue and Garfield Drive, Village Park needs maintenance on its tennis and basketball courts, play structure, and bridges, Hoffman explained.

"Before making that big investment in upgrading the infrastructure it makes sense to come back and take a look at how is the park operating," he said. "It's been a long time since we've had those discussions."

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Two suspects in custody after armed robbery at Associated Bank

Oct. 15, 2014 8:29 a.m. | Menomonee Falls — Two suspects in an armed bank robbery at Associated Bank on Tuesday, Oct. 15 have been captured by police.

The robbery occurred at Associated Bank, N88W16554 Main Street, at 4:18 p.m. Shortly thereafter, the suspects fled in a vehicle eastbound on Main Street, where Menomonee Falls police began chasing them, according to a news release.

The pursuit continued eastbound into Milwaukee, where the suspects vehicle was found crashed near Fond du Lac Avenue and 107th Street, according to the release. One suspect was taken into custody at the crash site and the other was "apprehended after a short foot chase," according to the release.

Both suspects were conveyed to Community Memorial Hospital for precautionary reasons, the release said.

No further information is available as investigation of the incident is ongoing.

Pollworkers needed for Nov. 4 election

Oct. 14, 2014 9:49 a.m. | Germantown — The village of Germantown is looking for additional poll workers who are available to assist with the election on Tuesday, Nov. 4.

Otherwise known as election inspectors, poll workers are responsible for election procedures in the polling location to which they are assigned. These procedures include, but are not limited to, helping open the polls, registering voters, issuing ballots, providing assistance to voters, explaining the use of voting equipment, closing the polling location, and delivery of election returns.

Training is required and provided by the clerk's office. Work the day of the election begins at 6 a.m. and ends upon completion of duties after the polls close.

Anyone who is a citizen of the United States and resides in Germantown wishing to sign up is encouraged to contact the clerk's office at (262) 250-4740.

Enrollment lower than expected in Menomonee Falls

Oct. 13, 2014 8:24 p.m. | Menomonee Falls — Declining enrollment in Menomonee Falls is here to stay, at least for now. Enrollment in the School District of Menomonee Falls is down again this year, in part due to a large graduating class.

As of the third Friday in September, the district had 43 less students than projected for the 2014-15 school year. The projected number had already accounted for an anticipated drop of 54 students, putting the total decrease at 97 students less than the 2013-14 school year.

Incoming ninth graders make up about a quarter of the decreased number, which Director of Pupil Services Kathy Zarling said was mostly due to the district's increased effort to ensure students attending Menomonee Falls schools are indeed residents of the district.

"It was a lot of concern we would hear from the community or from within our own system," said Zarling, adding that the process of proving residency HAS been tightened up in recent months. "It's cost us a lot of attending to, but it is one of the big concerns that was dealt with within our home office."

As a result of those efforts, Zarling said 28 families with 34 students were found to no longer be able to prove residency and were subsequently transitioned back to their home districts.

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Leaf Collection has begun in Menomonee Falls

Oct. 13, 2014 12:37 p.m. | Menomonee Falls — Annual leaf collection has begun on village streets, which means its time to brush up on what is expected from residents this time of year.

The Public Works Department provides annual leaf collection within the urban areas of the village on streets containing concrete curb and gutter and storm sewer systems.

Director of Public Works on Monday, Oct. 6 briefed the board about the program, which he said is a proactive way to prevent leaves from collecting in and obstructing the storm water drainage systems causing potential flooding within these areas. 

The annual leaf pickup program begins in mid-October and ends in late November, and involves exclusively leaves and not brush, yard waste or other debris. As part of this process, the leaves break-down and decompose into a rich black material that is mixed with topsoil and used by the village in lawn restoration work, Johnson explained.

Anyone found to have piles containing brush or other yard waste will be given a notice and asked to remove the items within a 48-hour period. Failure to remove brush, yard waste or other debris placed in or along the street is a violation of village code, and could result in the issuance of a municipal citation in the amount of $109.

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Germantown clerk urges voters to register before Nov. 4 election

Oct. 13, 2014 12:05 p.m. | Germantown — Village of Germantown clerk Barbara Goeckner is pleading with voters to make sure they are properly registered before voting in the election on Tuesday, Nov. 4.

In an release on Oct. 10, Goeckner points local residents to the state's www.MyVote.WI.gov to make sure they are registered to vote at their current address as well as know where to go on election day.

"In less than two minutes, you can go to MyVote.WI.gov, find your polling place location and see what will be on your ballot," she said in the release. If a resident is not registered, the site allows registration or updates to address information to be done online.

Voters have until Wednesday, Oct. 15 to open register. After that, voters have the option to go to the clerk's office and register in person through Friday, Oct. 31, or they can register at the polls on election day.

Online registration can be completed, but must be printed and brought to the clerk's office before signing, along with proof of residency information.

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Homestead football team ties for North Shore lead, beats GT, 35-30

Oct. 10, 2014 11:00 p.m. | Experienced, strong and prideful, the Homestead offensive line used its broad backs in a mighty way Friday night and kept the Highlanders hopes of at least a share of a 14th straight North Shore Conference football title alive in pacing the Highlanders to a 35-30 upset of previously unbeaten archrival Germantown.

The Highlander unit, which had lost one starter, Jack Warshauer to injury in the first half, brought Homestead back from a 21-8 first half deficit, and paved the way  to four consecutive touchdown drives of 80, 80, 80, and 75 yards that the Warhawks were incapable of stopping.

"With about 9:30 minutes to go I turned to my offensive line coach (Matt Wolf) and said, 'Let's see if we can run the ball all the way down the field'," said head coach Dave Keel, "and we did."

The ensuing touchdown, a 3-yard run by fullback Matt Winters, expanded the Homestead lead to 35-24 with just a 1:27 left. Germantown got a 30-yard TD pass from Dwayne Lawhorn, Jr. to Connor Schulz but when Homestead's Nick Ziebell recovered the onside kick with 17 seconds to go, the game was over and the North Shore Conference had a new look, one that it hadn't had since 2002.

"We had one thought, that the game belongs to us (the O-line)," said lineman John Marita. "We were just following the scheme and listened to what the coaches told us was going to work. It's exciting when you see it all come out like that."

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