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Darrow vs. Darrow: Father draws distinction amid son's financial troubles

March 17, 2009 2:32 p.m. | Waukesha-based Darrow Automotive Inc., which its creditors are trying to force into Chapter 7 bankruptcy, has no financial affiliation or business relationship with the Russ Darrow Group, according to a statement released Tuesday by Menomonee Falls-based Darrow Group.

Darrow Group, founded in 1965, operates 15 new car dealerships in the Fox Valley and southeastern Wisconsin, a used-vehicle finance company, and a nationwide fleet and leasing company. It is owned by Chairman and CEO Russ Darrow Jr., and his youngest son, Mike Darrow.

Darrow Automotive, which operates dealerships in Illinois, North Carolina and Georgia, is owned by Russ Darrow III.

"While it is extremely unfortunate that my eldest son, Russ Darrow III, is dealing with severe financial difficulties in his own business, it is equally important to differentiate his company from our Wisconsin car dealership group that I started 44 years ago, the Russ Darrow Group," Darrow Jr. said in a statement.

Darrow Group, which has over 500 employees "is very healthy," the statement said.

Menomonee Falls remodeling company receives high honors at state awards

4:08 p.m. | Menomonee Falls — For the second consecutive year, Connor Remodeling & Design has won three gold honors in the 2014 Wisconsin Remodeler's Awards, a landmark achievement in the annual Milwaukee/NARI competition among local remodeling and design companies.

The Menomonee Falls firm collected the contest's highest honors in three categories, including a residential kitchen and two residential baths, as well as a silver award for a residential interior element, which included an elaborate fireplace.

The family-owned company brings more than 50 years of combined professional experience to its designs and manages a broad spectrum of remodeling projects encompassing whole houses, lower levels, kitchens and bathrooms.

Lutz named new Menomonee Falls football coach

3:14 p.m. |  

Working from within, Menomonee Falls High School is proud to announce that Dan Lutz has been named head coach of the football program.

Lutz takes over for John Baker, who left the position to pursue a school administrator's degree.

Lutz, a current Falls assistant coach who was previously the head coach at Brookfield Academy, is excited to take over the program that he started as a volunteer with in the early 2000’s.

From that time, Lutz has gained invaluable experience as an assistant at
Brookfield Academy and Sussex Hamilton. Brookfield Academy named him the head coach in 2007.

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Germantown Village Board to consider compensation changes

10:32 a.m. | Germantown — Employee compensation increases for 2015 are on the agenda for consideration at tonight's Germantown Village Board meeting, to be held at 7 p.m. at Village Hall, N112 W17001 Mequon Road.

Also on the agenda is a request by the Germantown Fire Department to fill a vacancy, and discussion on a developer's ageement in tax-incremental financing district No. 4, which includes the Germantown Business Park.

Germantown resident says friends feel like family at the Just Betweeen Friends sale

8:08 a.m. | Germantown — It's kind of like Black Friday for all things baby, toddler and beyond.

Everywhere you look, there are hangers adorned with everything from the tiniest footed newborn sleeper to your five-year-old son's next Halloween costume. (He'll be going as Spongebob Squarepants). There are more toys than any daycare could ever hope for, with activity tables and baby walkers and that talking puppy every new mom thinks her baby needs to have. And there are even the less glamorous items, like breast pump supplies, burp cloths and diapers.

All of that was more than necessary for Susie Bruns, who said the Germantown/Port Washington Just Between Friends sale has been an incredibly helpful resource for her and her family of five since she started shopping the sale for her Irish triplets in 2008.

"At the time, I was working non-profit and my husband was working as a teacher, (so) we were on a budget," said Bruns, of Menomonee Falls. After a complicated first pregnancy, it was a surprise to Bruns and her husband to find out four months later they were expecting twins.

"I decided to check out the sale and immediately I was hooked," said Bruns, who still shops the sale for her three girls, and now consigns in it as well. "The customer service is fantastic...the team leaders are always walking around talking to the shoppers, putting thing in the hold area, handing out bags and organizing."

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Two people taken to the hospital following March 1 crash in Menomonee Falls

7:34 a.m. | Menomonee Falls — Two people were transported to an area hospital after a single-car accident that occured on Mill Road near Lilly Road shortly after 5:30 p.m. March 1.

Mill Road was shut down in both directions for more than two hours.

There is no word whether police think alcohol was involved or on a cause for the crash, which remains under investigation.

Germantown girls basketball team in regional final after 56-46 win

Feb. 27, 2015 9:38 p.m. | The style points weren't quite there for the Germantown girls basketball team Friday night in its 56-46 WIAA regional semifinal victory over stubborn Sussex Hamilton.

All that matters, said senior all-star guard Taylor Higginbotham is this little fact:

"The whole season is important," said Higginbotham, who scored 22 points to lead all scorers, "but now is the time you play for. You want to keep playing. You want to be able to get to another series of practices."

Or in this instance, a rematch at red-hot Arrowhead (18-5) at 7 p.m. Saturday night in a WIAA regional final. Arrowhead, which has a 13-game win streak, edged Germantown, 50-49, back on Jan. 17 and also ended the Warhawks' season in sectional semifinal play in 2014.

"We let that one slip away," said Stuve of the January loss. "It was a lesson learned. We're a little better right now, but they may be the best team in the state right now. They're playing better than just about anybody out there."

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Germantown School District discusses issues with student food waste

Feb. 27, 2015 1:21 p.m. | Germantown — Whole apples, oranges and other fruits and vegetables simply shouldn't be wasted. At least that is the popular opinion of Germantown School Board member Thomas Barney.

For Barney, the concern about how much food is getting thrown away in district schools at lunch time started around the dinner table, where his third-grade son shared what happened that day at County Line Elementary School.

"One of the lunch ladies said to only take as much ketchup and mustard as you need but take two pieces of fruit and throw it away if you're not going to eat it, or something along those lines," said Barney, who was stunned to learn the issue spans in various levels of intensity across all district schools.

"It seems like we're wasting a lot of food, and yet technically what the lunch lady told my son was not incorrect because we have to make sure the students are served enough fruits and vegetables to meet the federal requirement," Barney explained. "I understand the idea is for kids to eat healthier lunches, but I think we're finding there are a lot of kids throwing it away for whatever reason, like maybe they don't like the taste as much."

Following federal, state requirements

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Rixton to play at Menomonee Falls High School

Feb. 27, 2015 10:47 a.m. | British pop band Rixton, known for their hit "Me and My Broken Heart," will play a private show for 1,400 students at Menomonee Falls High School today.

Menomonee Falls got the chance to host the concert by winning Goodwill's Fall Haul.  It was one of 469 southeasterm Wisconsin high schools to participate in the donation challenge and contributed more than 28,600 items.

"We are proud of our community's leadership and generousity in the Fall Haul event," Menomonee Falls Principal Corey Golla said. 

Rixton will open for pop star Ariana Grande at the BMO Harris Bradley Center Friday night. They have opened for Grande throughout the North American leg of her "The Honeymoon Tour" in anticipation of their debut album, which releases in March.

"This concert reinforces how important it is to give back to our community," Golla said.

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Construction to begin on expanded emergency department at CMH in Menomonee Falls

Feb. 27, 2015 10:32 a.m. | Menomonee Falls — Construction will begin next week on the 4,000-square-foot expansion of the emergency department at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin Community Memorial Hospital.

Along with increasing capacity and modernizing the department, CMH Public Relations Manager Rita said the project will facilitate the growth of the emergency department, improve efficiency and increase patient comfort and better accommodate medical equipment.

Plans include a new entrance, larger waiting area and additional exam rooms.

Germantown parents speak out against large kindergarten class sizes

Feb. 24, 2015 9:07 p.m. | Germantown — An overall lack of space is not a new problem at Rockfield Elementary School. But a group of parents said the time is now for the district to take action toward resolving what district officials have for several years acknowledged is an ongoing problem.

Large class sizes and the resulting possibility for teacher burnout were among several concerns raised by Jackson resident Lenny Hanson, who on Feb. 23 addressed the school board on behalf of a growing number of parents in the district.

"My child is in her first year in kindergarten, and my child's teacher will always be the one that says 'oh boy, here comes that big class,'" said Hanson, whose daughter is enrolled at Rockfield.

The school houses the district's early childhood program, which the district had hoped to find a new home for this school year. Though nothing has come together yet, a move would free up the space utilized by about 50 students between the ages of 3 and 5 years old who have special education needs.

Creativity only goes so far

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Menomonee Falls School Board takes steps to include two referendum questions on April 2016 ballot

Feb. 24, 2015 8:31 p.m. | Menomonee Falls — It is looking more and more likely that the School District of Menomonee Falls will be turning to voters for help to address operational and facilities needs in the district.

As soon as this time next year, two referendum questions could appear on the ballot in a culmination of what will at that point be two years of consideration and planning for the future of school facilities throughout the village.

Following a facilities study completed in February 2014, the board has for a year been meeting monthly to discuss options for proceeding with program improvement projects and capital maintenance projects earmarked for completion in the next five years.

The projects include everything from asphalt replacement and galvanized piping and plumbing fixtures, to improvements to the high school and middle school auditoriums and Project Lead the Way classrooms.

The future of Hiawatha and Thomas Jefferson (TJ) are also in question, due to the cost estimated to bring TJ back online coming in close to the cost of an entirely new building.

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Best friends, Barry Manilow 'Fanilows' to reunite at Milwaukee concert

Feb. 23, 2015 3:20 p.m. | Menomonee Falls — Barry Manilow is credited with saying "nobody is going to give you anything; you've got to go out and fight for it."

And fight they did.

For almost two years, lifelong best friends Michelle Held and Diane Kubatzki were barely on speaking terms after what happened at a 1982 Barry Manilow concert they attended together.

"I was heartbroken," said Kubatzki, the much bigger Manilow fan of the two. "I honestly couldn't even believe it what was happening right before my eyes."

Moments earlier, Manilow had asked the crowd of more than 30,000 for a volunteer to come sing with him on stage.

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Damage to vacant Menomonee Falls school property estimated well over $10,000

Feb. 23, 2015 11:30 a.m. | Menomonee Falls — Crime Stoppers and the Menomonee Falls Village Board are offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the possible arrest of whoever is responsible for serious damage done to Thomas Jefferson Middle School on Feb. 18.

"Significant damage" was done to the school property at W165 N8301 Lavergne Ave. late in the night, according to a notice put out by the school district.

"The suspects entered through an unlocked tunnel door on the south side of the building and did massive damage to the property," explained Lt. Kevin Von Bank. "A few exterior windows were damaged, but a lot more damage was done inside the building to interior windows and mirrors in the restrooms."

Though an exact estimate of damage was not known as of press deadline, Von Bank said he is "certain it is well over $10,000."

The school has been closed since 2005.

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Knodl supports, speaks in favor of Right-to-work legislation

Feb. 23, 2015 9:11 a.m. | Days before right-to-work legislation will be introduced, state representative Dan Knodl (R) spoke in favor of the change.

"I have long been a strong supporter of right to work and I am excited to see that Assembly Republicans are committed to moving Wisconsin forward. Right to work is an important piece of the puzzle for improving Wisconsin's economy and business climate," said Knodl, in a statement.

Knodl said he will be joining his colleagues, representatives Chris Kapenga (R-Delafield) and Dave Craig (R-Big Bend), as assembly leads on this bill.

"Right to work is about increasing worker freedom and opportunity, growing our economy, job creation, and overall economic prosperity," Knodl said, in the statement. "There are 24 states that already have right-to-work laws and Wisconsin should be excited about the prospect of becoming number 25."

On Tuesday, the Wisconsin state senate is expected to take up a right-to-work bill in what's known as an extraordinary legislative session. If it passes, the bill could move on to the state assembly for consideration as soon as next week.

Germantown school board approves resignation of teacher arrested for vandalism

Feb. 23, 2015 8:48 a.m. | Germantown — An issue that last summer started at a vandalized Scott Walker booth at the Jefferson County Fair has been brought to its final resolution for the Germantown School District.

The school board reviewed a resignation letter it received from kindergarten teacher April K. Smith, who pleaded guilty no contest in court on Aug. 19 after causing about $40 in damage to an unknown number of Scott Walker signs at the Republican party tent at the fair on July 9.

"Thank you for the opportunity to serve the Germantown community and work with many wonderful colleagues and administrators," said a resignation letter submitted by Smith. According to the letter, the resignation is effective Friday, Feb. 13. "If there is any way I can be of help during the transition, please let me know."

Smith, 39, who formerly taught kindergarten at Amy Belle Elementary, returned to the classroom in what the district referred to as an "alternate teaching assignment" on Jan. 5. Prior to that, she had been suspended, following her arrest for disorderly conduct at the fair. An email requesting comments from her was not returned.

Her new assignment co-teaching 51 kindergarten students in two classrooms at Rockfield Elementary School has helped with what parents have said are much-too-large class sizes at the school.

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