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Germantown schools close Tuesday

Jan. 06, 2014 2:27 p.m. | Due to the continued wind-chill warning, Germantown schools will be closed on Tuesday.

All other school-related activities are also canceled. Monday's closure will be made up on May 23, the Friday before Memorial Day.

Instructional minutes or the equivalent of a school day, will need to be made up before the end of the school year to account for the closure on Tuesday, which school officials said they will determine soon.

'Milwaukee lion' spotted in Glendale

July 28, 2015 11:45 a.m. | Glendale — After a week on the northwest side of Milwaukee, the much-talked-about 'Milwaukee lion' may have made an appearance in Glendale Sunday night.

The 'lion-like' creature described by more than a dozen eyewitnesses over the last week was most recently spotted on 30th Street and Fairmount Avenue on Saturday night. Milwaukee police officers have been searching the area around Lincoln Creek in search of the big cat.

The lion may be traveling northeast, if a call from Glendale police is accurate.

Glendale police received a report of a lion sighting at 11:26 p.m. Sunday in the 5700 block of Crestwood Boulevard, about a mile north of Lincoln Creek. The caller said he saw a tan muscular animal with a long tail walking in the area, and then it took off running north toward Marne Avenue.

Glendale police responded to the call, but officers were unable to locate the animal.

'Lights out' factory expansion underway in Germantown

July 28, 2015 9:58 a.m. | Plastic Components Inc. says it has started construction of a 23,000 square foot expansion of its "lights out" factory on Bunsen Drive, in Germantown.

There's almost no direct labor in the company's manufacturing process, aside from someone setting up plastic injection molding machines for a production run.

It's called a "lights out" operation because the machines could run on their own — with the room lights off — while everyone in the company went home for the night.

Plastic Components Inc. recently received a patent for its manufacturing system.

The expansion will more than double the company's manufacturing space, allowing it to add 20 more machines to accommodate growth.

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Hansen, Menomonee Falls baseball team get weight lifted with title

July 27, 2015 10:53 p.m. | Though many years removed from his playing days as a tough-as-nails second basemen in his youth in Minnesota, Menomonee Falls baseball coach Pat Hansen still cuts a trim and fit figure as leader of the Indians.

But one couldn't help but notice on the evening of July 24 as he sat alone in the corner of the Falls dugout at Kapco Park while his team was still celebrating its first state title in program history, he looked both pounds lighter and years younger.

Clearly a weight had been lifted off his shoulders.

"I won't lie, it's been hard," he said of the pressure to succeed for the wildly successful Falls baseball juggernaut that begins with 100s of little munchkins running around in tee-ball and ends up with a couple handfuls of well-trained, instinctive and talented players on the always-competitive varsity.

Many eyes scrutinize every call, every roster move along the way.

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Tokoto makes stop at Falls Fest after NBA draft

July 27, 2015 10:03 p.m. | Menomonee Falls Police Officer Jim Kirchberger has been on duty for many years and seen many things — some good, some not so good and a few that are simply amazing.

He related one of those latter moments during some downtime by the softball field during the first night of Falls Fest on July 23. Former Falls basketball superstar and now NBA draft pick of the Philadelphia 76ers, J.P. Tokoto was in town after completing a successful stint with the 76ers NBA Summer League team and was making the rounds at the Fest, saying "Hello" to all his friends and enjoying his Mom's home cooking.

He had made ESPN a couple of times with some of his patented high-flying and often spectacular dunks (I still say the man could have been a 7-foot-high jumper in track at Falls, but hey, that's water under the bridge), and he was very optimistic about things. He said he's learned a lot already and can't wait for formal tryouts and training camp.

In short, Tokoto was in a great mood, rocking his very fine FroHawk hair-do and looking as fit and strong as any average 6-7 kid in his early 20s who is very close to having the world on a string.

After he moved on down the row to greet other people at the Fest, Kirchberger sidled over and talked to Jim Droese, my brother, Zach, and myself, as we were all working the east ticket booth this night.

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New York manufacturer to acquire Magnetek for $188.9 million

July 27, 2015 4:43 p.m. | Magnetek Inc. of Menomonee Falls is being acquired by a New York-based manufacturer of material handling products for $188.9 million.

Columbus McKinnon Corp. said the deal will help it add Magnetek's digital controls to improve the safety of the cranes and hoists it sells.

The $50 per share purchase price represents a 55% premium from Magnetek's closing stock price last week.

Columbus McKinnon makes cranes and hoists as well as actuators and rigging tools. It has annual sales of $579.6 million.

Magnetek, which employs 340 people, designs and produces digital power and motion control systems used in material handling, elevators and the mining industry.

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Manchester was a giant in world of Menomonee Falls athletics

July 27, 2015 2:23 p.m. | A quiet man, whose few words were important.

A direct man, who commanded attention without drawing too much attention to himself.

A stern-looking man, who could be surprisingly deadpan funny.

A man of faith, husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, teacher, coach and administrator during two great transition periods in Menomonee Falls athletic history, long-time Merton-area resident Edward ("Eddie") L. Manchester Sr. passed away on July 2 at the age of 83 after a long illness.

"He was a huge influence on my life and career," said retired Falls High School Principal Richard P. Woosencraft . "... He was an old school football coach and a very positive Christian guy. He was a football coach, but he was also a guy who opened a lot of doors to girls athletics and did a lot of things for the district."

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Six-run fourth lifts Menomonee Falls to semifinal win over Pewaukee

July 27, 2015 1:33 p.m. | Menomonee Falls pitching coach Dave Weber made it easy and simple for the Indian players collected at the mound during the very shaky fourth inning in their 8-3 WIAA state semifinal victory over Pewaukee on July 24 at Kapco Park.

The Pirates had scored three times, courtesy of three uncharacteristic Falls errors in the frame and had shot ahead, 3-2.

In Weber's eyes, it was time for everyone to calm down.

"You run into these innings sometimes," said Weber. "I just told the guys to stop trying so hard. Just relax, be yourselves and support one another."

The Indians, including Weber's son, ace pitcher Ty, did just that. Ty Weber struck out the final two batters of the inning to minimize the damage and end the threat.

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Falls baseball team routs Franklin for state championship

July 27, 2015 9:15 a.m. | “We didn’t come here to finish second.”

That was the assertion of Menomonee Falls junior ace and co-captain Ty Weber after he led the Indians baseball team to a victory in the WIAA state semifinal at Kapco Park in Mequon the afternoon of July 24, mere hours before an 11-0 win in the state-championship battle against Franklin.

The Indians are familiar with the concept of second place. Old Falls High in 1968 took silver, as did Falls North in 1977, in addition to new Falls High in 2001 and again in 2004. Weber’s Dad, Falls legend Dave Weber, had coached the 2001 team and was an assistant to Pat Hansen in 2004.

And Ty, having been a much tinier version of his current 6-4 self during the 2001 and 2004 campaigns, bore witness as one Falls powerhouse after another was stymied either at state or in the sectionals, the frustration growing with each tough loss.

So young Mr. Ty, so much more mature than a junior in high school should be, was absolutely delighted to be a cog when the wheel finally turned around later that same evening.

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District names new Rockfield Elementary principal

July 23, 2015 2:03 p.m. | The Germantown School District has named Dana Croatt as the new principal at Rockfield Elementary School.

The school board approved the contract for Croatt following a closed session discussion on July 15. Croatt, along with other finalists for the position, was also interviewed earlier this month by a panel of 20 individuals, including board members, directors, principals, Rockfield teachers and support staff, and parents.

The interview process, conducted on July 8, included a tour of the campus by two Rockfield students, a presentation by each finalist to the panel, interview questions and a writing prompt related to the Summit process and future of the Germantown Way, according to information provided by Human Resources Director Cynthia Coley.

Croatt replaces former Rockfield principal Adrienne Schneider, who resigned from the position. She holds her doctorate degree in K-12 Leadership, as well as a master's degree in elementary education and bachelor's degree in intellectual disabilities. Croatt's experience includes eight years in the teaching field as a high school resource teacher, inclusion specialist and resource/inclusion specialist. She served as a K-8 principal for five years before accepting an elementary principal position in the Greenfield School District, which she held for the past two years.

Inaugural mud run raises $4K for Germantown teacher grants

July 23, 2015 9:43 a.m. | The Germantown Community Scholarship Fund (GCSF) raised nearly $4,000 for its teacher grant program during its inaugural Mini Run June 28 at Germantown High School. The run through the muddy obstacle course attracted 304 participants.

More than 100 community and student volunteers worked to help get this event off and running, along with the support of local Germantown businesses and Germantown High School.

"More than 20 community businesses, service organizations and individuals came together to assist in the planning, development, creation and implementation of this event," added Deb Stresing, president of the GCSF board. "We have a great community here in Germantown helping make fundraisers such as this one a success."

For more information and a list of event sponsors visit All proceeds from the Mini Run for Funds help support Germantown teachers through the GCSF Teacher Grant program. Since 2004, the GCSF board has awarded 22 teacher grants totaling $11,000.

Germantown resident wins MS scholarship

July 23, 2015 9:13 a.m. | The National Multiple Sclerosis Society-Wisconsin Chapter has announced that Lauren Zylka from Germantown has been awarded a $1,000 Rabbits Unlimited, Ltd. Scholarship.

Zylka, a student at Viterbo University, will use the scholarship for her continuing studies in nursing.

Zylka's scholarship is one of more than 800 new and renewal scholarships nationwide, 37 of which were awarded in Wisconsin.

The MS Society's annual scholarship program helps students affected by multiple sclerosis pursue a college or technical school education. It is open to individuals who have MS or have a parent with MS, and who will be attending an accredited postsecondary school for any year of undergraduate study in working toward their first undergraduate degree.

Applications are evaluated on financial need, academic record, leadership and volunteer activities; a statement of educational and career goals; and letters of recommendation. Applicants are also asked to provide a personal statement describing the impact MS has had on their lives.

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The Suburban 16 Power Rankings: Watt, Niebrugge, and others on the next level

July 22, 2015 11:30 a.m. | (Editor's note: After a late addition putting Anthony Pettis in the top 15, the "Suburban 15" was expanded to the "Suburban 16")

The meteoric rise just continues.

Pewaukee graduate J.J. Watt, once a scholarship tight end at Central Michigan and then a walk-on at the University of Wisconsin, was voted the No. 1 player in the National Football League by the league's players in a poll conducted by the NFL Network.

Higher than Aaron Rodgers (No. 2) and Tom Brady (No. 3). Higher than anyone could have imagined even when he became the 11th overall selection in the 2011 NFL Draft. Even with his second career NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award last year, it's still staggering to think that when the players in the NFL consider who the league's best player is, they turn to Watt.

Sure, all rankings have to be taken with a grain of salt, but especially with the accomplishments of Watt and Jordan Niebrugge, a Homestead graduate who shot an amateur-record round of 67 at the British Open and then tied for sixth in the tourney, there have been some exciting accomplishments racked up by local products. Considering athletes who competed in high school in the Now Newspapers or Lake Country Publications coverage area (and remain active), here's my Suburban 16, where I attempt to rank players based on exposure, impact and post-prep accomplishments.

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Initial Reaction Podcast: A dumb-sports-fan's guide to the Bucks arena financing situation

July 21, 2015 2:05 p.m. | JP tries his best to explain the machinations behind the state senate voting in favor of a Bucks arena financing plan, plus a lot more from a big week of Wisconsin sports (Favre! Niebrugge!). Also, JP shares his impressions from the WFCA All-Star football game.

Familiar face to lead Germantown parks department

July 21, 2015 1:11 p.m. | Germantown —The man who started it all will soon reprise his role as director of the Village of Germantown's Park and Recreation Department.

Following a closed session discussion on July 20, the village board unanimously voted to appoint Mark Schroeder as the village's park and recreation director – a role that is not entirely new to him.

"He actually started our park and recreation department back in 1984," Village Administrator David Schornack said.

Schroeder held that title from March 1984 through July 2001, Schornack said, before moving on to serve as director of the New Berlin Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department, a position he held until recently.

According to the Germantown Park and Recreation Department's history, the position of recreation director started in 1971 as a part-time role held by the Germantown High School athletic director before the village hired its first full-time recreation director in 1980. That title was later changed to park and recreation director in 1984, with the Park and Recreation Department functioning as a one-person operation until 1994.

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Battle-tested Menomonee Falls confident heading into state tourney

July 21, 2015 11:48 a.m. | Down 3-2 to Whitefish Bay late in the regional final on July 17?

No problem.

Homestead rallied to tie the score in the second and then brought its best hitter to the plate in the seventh in a one-run game with two-men on in the sectional semifinal July 20?

No worries.

Grafton erased a 1-0 deficit to take a 2-1 lead in the sixth of the sectional final at Cahill Park in Whitefish Bay later that same day?

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