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Germantown, Falls schools to close Monday

Jan. 03, 2014 4:34 p.m. | Germantown and Menomonee Falls schools will close Monday because of bitterly cold temperatures and wind, according to school officials.

Milwaukee Public Schools also announced that it will close as a result of dangerously cold winds and double-digit negative temperatures predicted by the National Weather Service for early next week.

The NWS is anticipating wind chills ranging from minus 35 to minus 50 degrees between Sunday and Tuesday.

Kohl's announces holiday hiring plans

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 Kohls.com.

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 Kohls.com 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 Kohls.com 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 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."

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 the work the groups do for Habitat for Humanity.

Two houses in Jackson and Beaver Dam are scheduled for completion before the snow flies, and Oliver said plans are already in the works for builds in the Germantown area next year.

Besides the retail side of the ReStore, the ReStore also actively accepts, as well as picks up, donations of appliances, furniture and assorted building materials.

» Read Full Article

Falls Village Board Approves TIF No. 12

Sept. 15, 2014 8:39 p.m. | Menomonee Falls — Menomonee Falls is one step closer to having its twelfth tax-incremental financing district.

The Village Board on September 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.

The plans call for rezoning the majority of the 107.5 acres from heavy industrial to light industrial to facilitate the development of up to seven businesses. Included in the plans is the redevelopment of 21.6 acres of land previously owned by Milwaukee-based Advanced Waste Services for the proposed ChemWorks facility, as well as a couple of blighted areas within the TIF boundaries.

The next step will be Joint Review Board approval of the proposed TIF, which calls for an estimated $3 million in improvements to the area. TIF is a mechanism that allows municipalities to borrow money to fund infrastructure improvements for an area that otherwise would be difficult to develop or redevelop. The increased property tax revenue from the improved land is then diverted from the tax roll to pay off the loan.

In this case, Village Manager Mark Fitzgerald said the plan calls for the development of $30 million of increment, and based on estimates, the district could pay off early in 14 or 15 years.

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.

» Read Full Article

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.

» Read Full Article

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.

» Read Full Article

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.

» Read Full Article

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.

» Read Full Article

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.

» Read Full Article

Man killed in Falls fire identified

Sept. 08, 2014 3:31 p.m. | The man killed in a Menomonee Falls house fire on Sunday has been identified as 50-year-old John Sackenheim, according to the Waukesha County medical examiner's office.

Menomonee Falls Police and Fire investigators were called about a report of smoke and flames coming from a house in the 6600 block of Lilly Road about 1:09 a.m. Sunday. Sackenheim, the lone resident, was found dead inside the home.

Smoldering remains from a fire ring on a deck are believed to have ignited the porch and then the house during the overnight hours, authorities said Monday. No foul play is suspected, police said.

The Menomonee Falls Police Department issued a news release Monday that said "the deceased subject has been identified as the homeowner, a 50 year old male and lone resident of the single family residence."

Assistant Police Chief Mark Waters initially declined to name the man when reached by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Monday because the man's identity was obtained from the state Division of Motor Vehicles driver's license database.

» Read Full Article

Kohl's seeks to unload Woodland Prime building

Sept. 08, 2014 12:06 p.m. | Menomonee Falls — Almost a year after Kohl's announced it would be changing course with its plans to expand its headquarters in the Woodland Prime business park, the corporation announced September 8 that they now intend to unload the 52,744-square-foot office building at 800 Woodland Prime.

Several calls as well as emails to Kohl's public relations department were unreturned, but Robert Flood of RFP Commercial, Inc. confirmed the retailer has enlisted the commercial real estate company to market the 5.15-acre property for sale or lease. Kohl's and its employees never occupied the building after taking it over in 2012, according to the news release from RFP Commercial, Inc., and no employees will be affected by the sale or lease.

Ironically, the announcement precedes a move by financial advisory companies Sattell, Johnson, Appel & Co. and SJA Financial Advisory LLC into a new location at the end of this month. The affiliate companies on September 29 will begin operating in a newly constructed 14,500-square-foot building in the new office park on Good Hope Road and Appleton Avenue, a move prompted by Kohl's acquisition of their existing location at 800 Woodland Prime.

"We are happy to be able to stay in Menomonee Falls, as well as to only be moving such a short distance away," said Sattell, Johnson, Appel & Co. CPA Chris Felton, adding that the company has been in the village since 2003.

Meanwhile, Kohl's is proceeding with its new plans to renovate existing buildings in the village rather than building a new headquarters in Woodland Prime. Earlier this year, the company announced its $4.1 million purchase of two buildings formerly owned by Ultra Tool and Manufacturing.

» Read Full Article

School district taxes remain flat for Menomonee Falls residents

Sept. 08, 2014 8:06 a.m. | Menomonee Falls — There wasn't much of anything left to say at the annual meeting and budget hearing on the 2014-15 Menomonee Falls School District budget, which calls for a tax rate that will most likely be the same as the prior year.

The budget was approved by about a dozen residents in attendance at the Sept. 8 meeting with no contest, following months of discussion and preparation by the school board.

As state aid continues in a steady downward trend, Director of Business Services Jeff Gross explained the inverse relationship state funding has on local funding for the district.

"As the state aid has gone down since 2007-08, the local levy goes up to offset that," said Gross, adding that state aid for 2014-15 is estimated at about $7.3 million in stark contrast to $15.82 million in 2007-08.

Meanwhile, Gross added that the state-mandated revenue limit for the district has decreased by about $3.8 million partially due to the district having higher property values in comparison to other parts of the state.

» Read Full Article

Menomonee Falls man dies in house fire

Sept. 08, 2014 7:48 a.m. | Menomonee Falls — Investigation is ongoing relating to a house fire that occurred in Menomonee Falls in the early morning hours Sept. 6.

Upon arrival to the house in the 6600 block of Lilly Road shortly after 1 a.m., police officers and firefighters located a 50-year-old man dead inside the home.

No other people were identified as being at the residence, and the man was the lone resident.

It is believed the man was burning material in a fire ring located on a deck attached to the house the evening before the house fire, according to information provided by the Menomonee Falls Police Department.

Smoldering remnants in the fire ignited the porch and subsequently the house during the overnight hours, police officials said. No foul play is suspected.

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