Semifinalists emerge in Battle of the Burbs bracket contest

March 29, 2012 2:20 p.m. | Four communities have advanced to the penultimate round of MyCommunityNOW's Battle of the Burbs bracket contest.

Top-seeded Wauwatosa handily defeated Franklin, 64-36, to earn a semifinal match up with No. 4 seed Waukesha. Waukesha earned its spot with a 52-48 victory over No. 2 Mequon-Thiensville.

Brookfield, a No. 1 seed, posted a 56-44 victory over Muskego and will face New Berlin in the semifinals. Second-seeded New Berlin advanced with a 63-37 rout of Shorewood.

Semifinal voting in the NCAA-style tournament continues for a week and pits suburbs against each other in a single-elimination showdown to determine the best community in the area.

Three lucky voters will win Visa gift cards and the winning community will receive a special proclamation from MyCommunityNOW and NOW Newspapers.

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Falls school district to send out 52 layoff notices

March 27, 2012 1:04 p.m. | Menomonee Falls - Fifty-two Menomonee Falls School District teachers will receive a preliminary layoff notice in early April, but officials estimate that fewer than the equivalent of eight full-time employees will actually be let go.

Those numbers are down from earlier estimates. The School Board originally anticipated issuing 60 to 70 preliminary layoff notices and the equivalent of seven and 12 full-time employees ultimately being laid off.

"Because we're in declining enrollment, our revenue limit decreases. Because we're in declining enrollment our need for staffing at the middle and high school decreases," Superintendent Patricia Greco said. "Part of the challenge is our revenues are going down because one of the criteria for our revenue limit is our student head count."

The district has to let teachers know if they are in danger of a layoff within a certain time frame, and that always happens before final enrollment and budget numbers are available. Therefore, the district tends to err on the side of sending out preliminary layoff notices to more people than will actually be affected, rather than sending out too few and running the risk of paying for teachers it can't afford or doesn't need.

There are multiple reasons the number of preliminary layoff notifications are significantly higher than the anticipated permanent layoffs.

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Shoplifting suspect accused of driving into store employee

March 27, 2012 8:36 a.m. | A 28-year-old Milwaukee woman was arrested for striking one employee in the face and hitting another employee with her car to elude arrest for shoplifting shortly before 7 p.m. March 17.

According to the Menomonee Falls police report:

The woman entered Kohl's Department Store, N95 W18000 Appleton Ave., took selected merchandise from the store shelves, returned the property at the customer service counter for store credit, then left the store without paying for additional merchandise. When she was confronted by employees outside the store, she tried to strike one of them with her shopping cart and struck the other employee in the face with her hand. The woman then ran to her parked vehicle.

As one of the employees stood next to her vehicle to get the license plate number, the woman backed out of the parking spot and immediately accelerated toward the employee, knocking him to the ground and causing injury. She then sped away.

Police identified the woman from her driver's license photo and video surveillance; she was arrested soon afterward.

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Man arrested for drunken driving with 4-year-old in car

March 26, 2012 2:28 p.m. | A 22-year-old Milwaukee man who was pulled over by police for drunken driving is facing additional charges for having an unsecured 4-year-old in his car.

The suspect was pulled over by Menomonee Falls police after other motorists reported a car driving erratically in the 12400 block of U.S. Highway 41 at 10:15 p.m. March 17. When the officer approached the car he noticed a strong smell of intoxicants on the driver's breath and saw a 4-year-old child in the back seat of the car, unrestrained.

The driver failed field sobriety testing and a preliminary breath test showed his alcohol content was 0.22. He was taken to the hospital for a legal blood draw and a blood alcohol content of 0.18 was obtained.

The man was arrested for drunken driving, operating without a valid driver's license and operating a vehicle with prohibited alcohol content with a child under 15 as a passenger.

The suspect was taken to the Waukesha County Sheriff's Office due to officers' inability to confirm his identity through the Mexican ID card he presented.

Village Board OKs Falls flower shop's zoning change to residential

March 19, 2012 10:14 p.m. | Could a flower shop be home sweet home for someone in Menomonee Falls?

Yes, based on what the Village Board members said on Monday.

Village Park Townhomes owner Brayton Devco asked the Village Board to amend its zoning to change a vacant flower shop to residential zoning. The original zoning allows for a residence on the second floor, but requires a commercial property on the first floor.

With President Randy Newman opposed, the board voted, 5-1, to adopt an ordinance amending the Village Park Townhomes Planned Infill Development Overlay Zoning District located between Appleton Avenue and Mill Street. Newman also voted against the amendment at the Dec. 6 Plan Commission meeting.

Brayton Devco wants to turn the shop into a residence.

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GT's Steve Showalter earns AP coach of the year honors

March 19, 2012 5:09 p.m. | After his team won the WIAA State D1 championship last Saturday, Germantown boys basketball coach Steve Showalter was named the Associated Press State Boys Coach of the Year.

Showalter's son, Wisconsin-recruit 6-2 guard Zak Showalter, was narrowly edged out for AP state player of the year honors on a tie-breaking vote by 6-8 Sheboygan Lutheran forward Sam Dekker, whose last-second shot and 40 points lifted the Crusaders to a dramatic victory in the D5 state title game last Saturday.

Dekker is also a Wisconsin recruit and he Zak Showalter will be roommates at Wisconsin next fall.

"We have a great relationship," said Zak Showalter of Dekker. "He's a great kid and a tremendous athlete. That performance he turned in in the final was just remarkable."

'Hoping morning never comes' as Germantown wins state hoops title

March 17, 2012 10:41 p.m. | Father and son, the latter sitting in the other's lap, 15-16 years ago in Madison, watching a WIAA state basketball tournament, wondering how it was all done.

How do you win a state championship?

If you're coach Steve Showalter and his senior all-state son Zak Showalter of the new division 1 state champion Germantown boys team, you begin with "bricks and mortar," building it piece by piece from the time the former took the Warhawks job 12 years ago, to a warm, endlessly happy Saturday night in Madison.

To a moment when both got to enjoy the fruits of many labors past with a bloodied warrior's shield worth of effort in a 72-69 state championship win over second-ranked Milwaukee King (24-2) at the Kohl Center in Madison.

"I really hope that morning never comes," said Steve Showalter, when asked what he would do the next day. "Without crying, this is the greatest basketball moment in my life. The most amazing thing ever, and to share it with my eldest son (Zak) and both my sons (sophomore Jake included) is an incredible feeling. All the guys on this team are my boys and I treat them all alike.

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Germantown wins first state title, 72-69

GT leads 54-52 going into the fourth

GT goes ahead, 38-33 at the half

March 17, 2012 8:51 p.m. | With star Zak Showalter on the bench for most of the second quarter with two fouls, the Germantown boys basketball team went on one of its patented surged and roared ahead of Milwaukee King, 38-33, at the half in the D1 state title game.

Showalter picked up his second foul at the 3:36 mark of the first quarter, shortly thereafter, the Generals surged ahead, 19-12.

It was 19-16 at the quarter. Showalter came in for a short time and hit a baseline three-pointer to tie the score at 22-all with 5:35 left in the half. That started a run of eight consecutive made shots by the Warhawks, including two treys by Friday night's semifinal star Jake Showalter.

By the time the run was over, Germantown had hit nine of 15 shots for the quarter. During a large chunk of that run both star center Luke Fischer (12 first half points) and Zak Showalter were on the bench.

Jake Showalter added nine in the first half while brother Zak had six.

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GT trails at the end of the first quarter, 19-16

Warhawks destroy Memorial, 81-43, to advance to first-ever state final

March 16, 2012 11:49 p.m. |

Germantown boys basketball coach Steve Showalter sometimes talks at length about how he wants his senior all-state son Zak to take charge of the team, sometimes at the expense of his own control.

He didn’t mention anything about number two son sophomore Jake, who Friday night lit the Kohl Center in Madison afire in the first half of the Warhawks WIAA state semifinal with defending state champion Madison Memorial with 16 points, as the top-ranked team in the state turned in a stunningly efficient effort and routed the third-ranked Spartans 81-43, to earn a berth in Saturday’s 8:15 p.m. state championship back at the Kohl.

“A week is a long time to think about Madison Memorial,” said a happy Warhawk coach Steve Showalter. “It’s a good thing, but also a stressful thing. The more I watched them, the better they got, but our plan was always to go out there and attack them. “

“And we were in attack mode the full game.”

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Oil spill closes south Lannon Road in Germantown

March 15, 2012 5:58 p.m. | An oil spill in the southbound lanes of Lannon Road northeast of U.S. Highway 41 has forced the closure of the Highway 41 northbound off-ramp while the oil is being cleaned up, the Germantown Police Department reported late Thursday afternoon.

Falls School Board mulls tech upgrades

March 12, 2012 10:32 p.m. | Students and instructors in the Menomonee Falls School District may be greeted with a host of technological upgrades for the 2012-2013 school year.

Although it was not an action item at the School Board meeting Monday, the board discussed the positive changes that would result from allocating $750,000 from the fund balance for technology upgrades, primarily to the Internet speed. The board will officially vote March 26 whether or not to move forward with the improvement projects.

Improvements would most notably increase the Internet speed from 100 megs to 1,000 megs in the high school, North Middle School and certain areas of the elementary schools, such as the labs. The money in the fund balance that would be used has been saved over the years, said Jeff Gross, director of business services for the district.

Superintendent Patricia Greco said the speed of the Internet is one of the most common complaints she hears from instructors. Some say it takes 12 minutes to log into the computer system, which is considerable in a class that is under an hour long.

"When we're talking about instructional technology, having the backbone to that technology is critical," Greco said.

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Menomonee Falls School Board talks budget, layoffs

March 12, 2012 10:28 p.m. | Although approximately 60 preliminary layoff notices will be sent to teachers working for the Menomonee Falls School District, between seven to 12 full-time employees will actually be laid off in May.

It will still be a few weeks before the exact number of preliminary layoff letters will be known, said Christiane Standlee, director of human resources for the district, during the School Board meeting Monday. Receiving a letter notification of a preliminary layoff is not a final notice. The district first has to determine seniority before knowing who will retain their positions.

This can be difficult because of dual certifications. For example, an instructor certified to teach English could also be certified to teach kindergarten. This instructor may not have seniority in English, but may in kindergarten.

"There are a lot of criteria we have to look through," Standlee said.

Depending on certification, between seven to 12 full-time teachers will be laid off.

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Germantown gets physical to beat De Pere

March 10, 2012 5:45 p.m. | Known for its flashy dashes up the court for easy baskets and the buckets of open three-pointers it can hit at will, the unbeaten Germantown boys basketball team is not usually known for its physicality.

Until Saturday afternoon, when in a WIAA sectional final contest in Manitowoc that looked more like a football game at times. The Warhawks wore down a talented De Pere squad for the second time this season and earned its third state tournament berth with a 57-45 victory.

"Everybody knows that our style is to run up and down the court and show off our ability rather than our strength," said a tired but happy Warhawks coach Steve Showalter. "But we had to show that (strength) today and trust me, we were glad we could do it when we had to."

With the victory, Germantown (26-0) advances to a WIAA State D1 semifinal final at the Kohl Center in Madison next Friday against the winner of defending state champion Madison Memorial and Mukwonago while fourth-ranked De Pere, the state runner-up in 2011, finished at 24-2, with both losses coming to the Warhawks.

And in the minds of the Germantown players, the real labor now begins.

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Germantown boys defeat DePere, 57-45

March 10, 2012 4:24 p.m. |

The Germantown Warhawks boys are state-bound after defeating DePere, 57-45, in the sectional finals at Manitowoc Lincoln today.


Check back on this NOW website for the game story and photos.

Falls girls need to rally to top Hartford

March 09, 2012 9:50 p.m. | Though Craig Amundson has been head coach of the successful Menomonee Falls girls basketball program for many years now, he is no authoritarian.

He trusts his assistants.

So when the 19-4 Indians trailed talented Hartford (15-8) by a 29-19 score at the half in the WIAA regional semifinal at Falls, he went looking for ideas.

"I let all of my assistants say something, and we put together a list," he said. "One said, 'Play hard for 16 minutes,' another said we needed to use more ball pressure and another said we need to pick up full-court.'"

And ball-pressure and full-court won the day for the Indians, as 12 third-quarter points from junior guard Mikayla Robertson fueled a 20-7 run in the session as Falls lived to fight another day with a 57-49 decision over the Orioles.

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Defensive-minded Germantown advances by stubborn Hamilton

March 08, 2012 11:15 p.m. | Germantown boys basketball coach Steve Showalter says his high-octane 80-plus point a game team doesn't get enough credit for the defense that it plays.

Well, with all-stater Zak Showalter on the bench with foul trouble for all but two-plus minutes of the first half, the Warhawks got a chance to show their defensive chops Thursday in their 64-38 WIAA sectional semifinal victory over Sussex Hamilton.

"I thought our defense was incredible," said Steve Showalter. "I thought we did a great job on (Brady) Ellingson (the Charger forward who had averaged 29 ppg in two regional wins the previous week) and I thought we did a pretty good job of forcing them to play at our pace."

With the win, the top-ranked in state Warhawks (25-0) set a new school record for victories in a season, breaking the mark of 24 they set last year, and earned a rematch with fourth-ranked De Pere (24-1) in the sectional final at Manitowoc on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.

Germantown beat the Redbirds in the WBBY Tournament back in December, 60-49. De Pere advanced with a 55-43 win over Sheboygan North Thursday night.

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Tickets for Hamilton-GT game must be purchased in advance

March 07, 2012 8:47 a.m. | Presale for tickets for the Division 1 sectional semifinal boys basketball game Thursday between Sussex Hamilton and Germantown will take place at the respective high schools this week. The game will be played Thursday, March 8 with an 8:30 p.m. tip at Waukesha North High School.


A limited amount of tickets remain available. Tickets will not be sold at North the day of the game. Doors open at 8 p.m.

Library hosts opening reception for Youth Art Month

March 06, 2012 1:16 p.m. | From grade school to high school, students of all ages through Menomonee Falls have brought their creativity to life in a variety of art forms.

Their works of art will be on display at the Menomonee Falls Public Library until the end of March. To celebrate Youth Art Month, the library is hosting an opening reception from 6:30-8 p.m. today at the library. The students art includes jewelry, clay pieces, ceramics, water colors, chalks, oil and an array of different artistic platforms.

"I think people would be astonished and proud of the kind of art that the students in the village are capable of," said Mari Schmidt, assistant director and business manager for the library. "It's truly incredible. It's everything from the whimsical to serious."

Schmidt said Youth Art Month wouldn't be possible without the help of Menomonee Falls teachers. During the reception today, there will also be an award show for the students.

Schmidt said the library walls are filled from top to bottom and it would take a few hours for a visitor to see everything.

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Germantown moves forward with land agreement with MMSD

March 06, 2012 8:04 a.m. | The village of Germantown took an intergovernmental land agreement a step further Monday night.

The Village Board voted unanimously to move forward with a cooperation agreement with Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District that will be used by MMSD for the purposes of park and flood management at an area known as Wilderness Park. MMSD is looking to purchase 153 acres from the village for a set price per acre. To do so, the village first has to purchase 24 acres from the owners of Blackstone Creek Golf Course, said village President Dean Wolter after the meeting. This land acquisition by the village would be used for the district's Greenseams flood management program that would ultimately protect 554 acres at the Menomonee River's headwater. MMSD would place a conservation restriction on the property deed that would prevent future development in the area.

The board unanimously voted Monday to move forward with a contract to acquire the 24 acres from Romano & Schmidt, the golf course owners.

Now, it is up to the MMSD policy and finance committee to vote on how to proceed in the land transfer that could either result in an easement for the village or be given back to the village with conservation protection and used as a park.

Fourth-quarter surge powers Hamilton to upset

March 02, 2012 11:58 p.m. | Trailing almost all game, the Sussex Hamilton boys basketball team stuck to its gameplan and finally broke through at the end of the third quarter Friday night.

The seventh-seeded Chargers went on a 12-0 run, holding No. 2 seed Homestead scoreless for a 6 minute, 49 second stretch in the third and fourth quarters to emerge with a 57-52 victory in their WIAA Division 1 regional semifinals at Homestead High School.

“Part of us running our offense is getting to the free-throw line,” Hamilton coach Andy Cerroni said of his team shooting 21 of 26 from the strip for the game. “They are a lot more athletic than we are. We screened them pretty well. You have to get to the free-throw line in tournament time and you have to make them when you get there in the tournament, too.”

Defense paved the way for Hamilton (12-11) in forcing nine second-half Highlanders turnovers. With the ball, the Chargers were relentless in driving to the basket and drawing fouls to get to the free-throw line where they went 15 of 17 in the fourth quarter.

That helped build as much as a 53-44 lead for Hamilton, as part of a 17-3 run, which saw it take its first lead of the game since 7-6, less than three minutes into the first quarter.

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Tokoto's sizzling start lifts Falls to 74-62 regional win over West

March 02, 2012 10:05 p.m. | It was going to be his last home game of his exceptional career, so Menomonee Falls' All-State forward J.P. Tokoto decided to give Indian fans a little bit of a show in the first quarter of his team's WIAA regional semifinal against Waukesha West Friday night.

He scored 12 of his 18 points in the session, including four in short order on back-to-back almost-beyond-spectacular one-hand jams that made the score 13-2 at the 4:28 mark of the session. The dunks came off of steals from the Indians' very effective press.

The lead was 22-11 at the quarter, and never dropped below double digits after that, as Falls cruised into a Saturday night rematch with border rival Germantown, 74-62.

"I have to admit, plays like that get me really fired up," he said, "and they get my teammates fired up too. The gym was also really loud then (laughs)."

With the win, Falls improved to 14-9 overall while West finished its season at 13-10. The Indians, who were shellacked by Germantown back in mid-December, will advance to a 7 p.m. regional final showdown Saturday at the top-ranked in state Warhawks (23-0).

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Glacier fall in four overtimes at state

March 02, 2012 6:26 p.m. | The Kettle Moraine Glacier girls hockey team, a co-op that features skaters from Brookfield, Menomonee Falls, Waukesha schools and others, dropped a 5-4 heartbreaker in quadruple overtime at the WIAA girls state hockey tournament in Madison on Friday.

The third-year program, appearing in its first state tournament, rallied from a three-goal deficit in the third period to force the extra session. Morgan Hollowell scored a pair of unassisted goals to knot the score, with the last coming with 5:45 left to play.

Jeralyse Tylke of KM also scored in the final period, and Jessica Foley scored in the second to give the Glacier a 1-0 lead, but Onalaska answered 25 seconds later to tie the score. KM never led again.

Jenna Bales made 50 saves, including 13 in a blitz of a second overtime, and finished one shy of the state tournament record. Theresa Knutson, the state's leading scorer, put in the game-winner in the fourth OT with 2:17 left on the clock.

Nicolet girls second half rally over GT nets Knights fourth NSC title, 46-38

March 01, 2012 10:16 p.m. | Nicolet girls basketball coach Corey Wolf chuckled when she casually noted that all-state guard Brittney Fair had a lot of swag following senior night festivities Thursday night.

But the balloons, flowers, ribbons and other gifts were just the icing on the cake this evening, as Fair fought off a fourth quarter charley horse in her leg to score 30 points and will the Knights to the most important prize of all, a share of their fourth straight North Shore Conference title with a 46-38 win over Germantown.

"Man, those things are painful," laughed Fair afterwards, "but I knew with how hard Germantown was playing and how important this game was, I just had to get back in there. It's just the fighter in me. We just wanted that conference title so bad, and now there it is."

There it is indeed, as the Knights, who have struggled a bit down the stretch, won their second game in a row and finished off the regular season at 12-2 in North Shore play, good for a tie for the title with Grafton and Whitefish Bay, both of which won easily this night.

Nicolet will enter the WIAA tournament next weekend at 19-3 overall.

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