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Death reported in Menomonee Falls house fire

June 04, 2010 5:36 p.m. | A 25-year-old man was dead Friday after a fire at a Menomonee Falls home, according to WTMJ-TV (Channel 4).

The fire was reported Friday afternoon at a home on Taylor's Woods Drive just south of Silver Spring Drive and west of Lannon Road, the station reported.

The cause of the fire was under investigation Friday night.

CMH nurse receives honor from Blood Center of Wisconsin for going beyond the call of duty

May 01, 2015 3:58 p.m. | Menomonee Falls — It was among the last things the family of Dennis Kaul was expecting to happen the day before they were to attend a wedding.

Dylan Kaul and his father, Dennis, were jogging a familiar route together along the Bugline Trail when it happened.

"It was a normal run and we were chatting about all kinds of different things, but it wasn't more than five minutes in when I noticed he was stumbling," Dylan recalled. "I had no idea how dire the circumstances were at that point."

Earlier that day, Dylan, who was in from out of town for his brother's wedding the next day, said he spent the morning with his parents as they prepared to host a casual rehearsal dinner at their Menomonee Falls home later that evening.

"I remember thinking when I saw my dad that I hoped I looked as good as he does at 65," said Dylan, who grew up in the area but now lives in Minnesota. "He looked great from all indications, which just goes to show you never know when something like this is going to happen."

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Rep. Brandtjen Introduces Foodshare Bill

May 01, 2015 11:38 a.m. | Menomonee Falls —State Representative Janel Brandtjen (R) has introduced legislation designed to restore the original intent of Wisconsin's foodshare program.

Co-authored by Rep. Rob Brooks (R), AB 177 will provide oversight as to what food items may be purchased by those using taxpayer dollars to help feed their families.

Right now a family of four can get up to $649 per month to provide food for their families. Under current law, the head of the household can spend the entire amount on non-nutritional items that could lead to obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and other health related issues.

"We in the legislature have an obligation to make sure hard earned tax dollars are spent appropriately," Brandtjen said. "While I'm confident that most families do not abuse the program this bill assures that 67 percent of the food share dollars provided to families are spent on healthy foods including meats, vegetables and dairy products."

In addition to the requirement that 67 percent of foodshare dollars a family spends is spent on nutritious food, the bill also prohibits the purchase of high end items such as lobster, crab or shrimp.

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Investigation: Family behind collapsed Falls building has a history of neglecting properties

May 01, 2015 11:34 a.m. | Menomonee Falls — Executives of the companies that own and manage the partially collapsed North Hills Plaza in Menomonee Falls have a long history of legal troubles and neglecting properties, a Menomonee Falls Now investigation has found.

North Hills Plaza is owned by 1340 East 9th Street Realty Corp. in Brooklyn, New York, whose CEO is Samuel Pinter, according to Waukesha County tax records and information from the New York Department of State. His son, Charles Pinter, is the CEO of Royale Property Management, which oversees North Hills Plaza. Together the Pinters and their affiliated companies have left a wake of rundown properties, according to court records and officials in Texas.

In 2013, unlivable conditions rife with cockroaches, toilets overflowing, spoiled food and a pool so filthy the water was black were reported in inspection reports for a Texas retirement community owned by Samuel Pinter.

A 2004 federal court lawsuit over an alleged $44 million Ponzi scheme names Samuel Pinter as a defendant, and Charles Pinter was ultimately brought into the suit, as well.

In addition, news sources have reported other incidents in which properties owned by Charles or Samuel, or both, were found to be dilapidated and unlivable.

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Susan G. Komen awards grant to Washington County

May 01, 2015 11:28 a.m. | The Susan G. Komen Southeast Wisconsin Affiliate has awarded a $29,830 grant to the Washington County Health Department to increase the number of women who receive breast cancer screenings.

In partnership with Aurora Health Care-Washington County, the Wisconsin Women's Health Foundation and the Wisconsin Well Woman Program, Heath Department Assistant Director Joni Whitehouse explained the grant from Komen Southeast Wisconsin will support Washington County's Pathways to Breast Health Program, an initiative developed to provide outreach and education to women.

"We were surprised last fall when Mission Manager Robin Luther of Komen Southeast Wisconsin contacted our Wisconsin Well Woman Program coordinator, Janet Arndt, to recommend that the Health Department apply for grant funding based on the results of their most recent needs assessment," Whitehouse said. "Washington County had high rates for breast cancer in general, but also for late stage diagnosis and breast cancer deaths."

The goal of Washington County's Pathways to Breast Health program is to increase collaboration between local organizations in order to address the breast health needs of the community and increase the local rate for screening mammograms with the goal of earlier diagnosis of breast cancer, Whitehouse said.

The program will target women ages 40 and above who do not routinely receive breast cancer screenings.

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Germantown Bier Stube hosts its first May Day weekend celebration

May 01, 2015 10:54 a.m. | Germantown — In conjunction with Old Town, Von Rothenburg Bier Stube is hosting their annual May Day celebration starting today.

The celebration kicks off today, May 1, at the Bier Stube, N116 W15863 Main Street, with traditional tapping of the Hofbrau Mailbock keg and continues with a weekend of live music, traditional foods, drink specials and contests.

Schedule of events is as follows:

Friday, May 1

5 p.m. to 8 p.m.: Live music by Peggy Mueller

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Falls Patio Players takes to the stage for weekend two of "Hairspray"

May 01, 2015 10:48 a.m. | Menomonee Falls — Don't miss the Falls Patio Players production of "Hairspray" this weekend.

A cast of talented actors and actresses from all over the area take to the stage for the second weekend of shows at 7:30 p.m. tonight, May 1 and Saturday, May 2, and 2 p.m. Sunday, May 3.

The Players have been putting on theatrical productions of drama, comedy and musicals for forty nine years.

Tickets are $18 for adults and $15 for seniors and students.

Performances are held at North Middle School, N88 W16750 Garfield Drive.

Germantown board votes in favor of adding on to overcrowded school, considers expanding project scop

May 01, 2015 10:33 a.m. | Germantown — There is officially an end in sight for the parents, teachers and staff who have been concerned about overcrowding issues at Rockfield Elementary School.

The board on April 27 approved moving forward with a permanent addition of classrooms to the overcrowded school, where staff has gotten creative with solutions such as having music classes in the library and other student work time in hallways and vestibules.

The school also houses the district's early childhood program, which the district had hoped to find a new home for this school year. Though that may not end up coming together, 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.

While modular classrooms, estimated to cost the district as much as $282,000 could have been ready for use by the start of the 2015-16 school year, board members agreed waiting as little as an extra semester to have a more permanent option would be a better solution in both the short- and long-term.

An option to use potentially available space at County Line Elementary to bridge the gap as construction is completed at Rockfield also helped weigh the scales in the direction of a brick and mortar solution.

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Germantown fifth-grader wins international Destination Imagination contest

May 01, 2015 8:38 a.m. | Germantown — Imagination is not something fifth grader Elise Dahlby is lacking. Yet when her T-shirt design was selected from more than 500 entries worldwide as the one to be sold at the upcoming Destination Imagination Global Finals competition, she said her first reaction was surprise.

"I was overwhelmed at first because I never thought that would happen," said Dahlby, who attends County Line Elementary School and entered the elementary category of the contest on a whim. "It's just really exciting to see it come together and get to go to Globals and see it on sale there."

The concept of her design began as she contemplated what defines "great minds."

"I was just thinking I know that people have great minds in Destination Imagination and I was thinking creative minds create their own path," she explained. "Great minds build their own path just like you build your own imagination."

Her design earned more than 3,000 votes over the course of about a week, earning her the coveted honor of having the shirt sold at the upcoming competition in Knoxville, Tennessee later this month.

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Falls high school student reportedly pushed to ground by school resource officer Falls high school s

April 29, 2015 8:29 a.m. | Menomonee Falls — The day after a video of a Menomonee Falls High School student getting shoved to the ground emerged, Menomonee Falls Police Chief Anna Ruzinski has a few things to say.

"That's not the whole story," Ruzinski said on April 29, after footage emerged capturing 15-year-old student Dakota Spilger getting pushed to the ground by School Resource Officer Jay Weber. "First of all, Weber did not know the student has autism."

The Feb. 25 surveillance video, which the police department and school district declined to share, shows Spilger getting tackled to the sidewalk after what appears to be a brief verbal confrontation. Fifteen-year-old Spilger was using crutches and walking boot due to an injury at the time.

Ruzinski said she stands behind Weber's reaction to the situation, citing his training in juvenile crisis intervention and sound background working with the school district.

"This is truly a blip on the radar screen for (Weber), who has worked at the high school for 12 years and has successfully diffused thousands of situations," she said. "He's the one who helped the student we had who was being neglected and abused recently ... he's helped out hundreds of kids and I can literally count the amount of altercations he's had like this on one hand."

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Falls police representatives invite public to chat over coffee

April 27, 2015 2:43 p.m. | Menomonee Falls — Have a conversation over coffee with officers from the Menomonee Falls Police Department this Thursday, April 20.

Representatives from the department will be available to answer questions, field concerns and simply get to know residents from 8 to 10 a.m. Thursday at Ally's Bistro, N72 W13350 Lund Lane.

For more information, call the department at (262) 532-4700.

Germantown School Board could make decision about space needs at Rockfield Elementary School

April 27, 2015 10:03 a.m. | Germantown — After several months of serious consideration of a solution to the space problem at Rockfield Elementary School, the Germantown School Board could make a decision tonight about its next steps.

The board tonight should have final cost estimates for the short-term modular classroom solution to compare and contrast with a more long-term solution, like a permanent addition of classrooms to the overcrowded school.

Also on the agenda is further review of the community survey conducted by the district earlier this year as well as a possible decision about rental property on Holy Hill Road.

The board meets tonight at 7 p.m. at the district administrative offices, N104 W13840 Donges Bay Road.

Falls school district to review facilities plans, ask for community feedback

April 27, 2015 9:53 a.m. | Menomonee Falls — The topic of facility planning is on the table again for the Menomonee Falls School Board at their meeting tonight.

The agenda includes discussion items on what the district has done in terms of research thus far, as well as a reminder of the upcoming community input meetings in May.

Careful examination of the facility study completed in February 2014 has been occurring in monthly work sessions for almost a year now and will likely continue through at least next year as the board analyzes how to most efficiently utilize its space and buildings in coming years.

In work sessions over the past several months, district staff again discussed 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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Family members react to survival of Falls native in Everest avalanche following earthquake in Nepal

April 27, 2015 9:23 a.m. | Menomonee Falls — His aunt heard the news on Facebook. His older sister got a text message. His younger sister saw it on the news at work.

How they heard didn't really matter. The news had the same effect.

"I honestly felt my face go white," said Kayla Lyons, who grew up in Menomonee Falls with her older brother, Benjamin Breckheimer. Breckheimer was climbing Mount Everest with a team led by International Mountain Guides when the earthquake struck Nepal on April 25, causing an avalanche on the mountain.

"My first thought was 'oh my gosh, not again'" said Breckheimer's aunt Tracy Ollech, also a Falls native, who attributed the unwelcome feeling of déjà vu to an incident in which Breckheimer was badly injured by an improvised explosive device (IED) in what was his second tour in the army in Afghanistan in 2009. "It was the same awful feeling of knowing something terrible had happened to someone you love and at the same time knowing there is nothing you can do to help."

Unfortunately, that feeling of helplessness lingers to this day, as members of the family wait through each and every day for news.

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Menomonee Falls educators receive national awards

April 23, 2015 9:53 a.m. | Menomonee Falls — Lynnette Oetzel and Julie Poetzel, teachers at Menomonee Falls High School, have been awarded a teachers scholarship and classroom grant respectively to benefit their high schools students and community at large.

Oetzel will attend the Green Lake Math Conference and Poetzel will purchase medical supplies for her Medical Detectives Classes.

The AAEF is committed to offering individual educators the means to optimize student learning with out-of-the-box initiatives.

"I applaud the dedication that Lynette and Julie have demonstrated in securing funding for their projects," said AAEF Executive Director Gary Beckner. "Without questions, teachers like Lynette and Julie make AAE scholarships and grants a worthy investment in empowering educators to meet their professional potential!"

The Association of American Educators Foundation is the nonprofit charitable arm of the Association of American Educators, a nonunion professional organization for teachers across the country. AAE is rapidly growing in the state of Wisconsin.

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Menomonee Falls village board president steps down, highlights positives from tenure

April 23, 2015 9:43 a.m. | Menomonee Falls —Playing an active role in navigating the village through some challenging economic times was among a few things former Village President Randy Newman said he was most proud of about his tenure.

After two terms as village board president and service to the board and other committees for a total of 20 years, Newman has said the time has come for him to explore some other ways to get involved with the community.

A certified public accountant, Newman is vice president of finance for Community Physicians at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin, where he said he aims to get more involved in social organizations in the future.

But in a quick review of the past at a recent board meeting, Newman had nothing but positive things to say about the time he spent on the board.

"I'm very proud of what we've been able to accomplish, and it isn't often we look at the good things we've done," he said.

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