Nickolaus won't run for re-election as Waukesha County clerk

April 28, 2012 11:00 p.m. | Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus, widely criticized over the conduct of elections in her county, announced Saturday she has decided not to seek re-election in November.

But the embattled clerk said in a prepared statement that she would not relinquish "any authority or responsibility" for upcoming elections through the end of her term because "I am the Waukesha County constitutional officer charged with the responsibility of elections."

After problems in the election earlier this month, Nickolaus reportedly agreed under pressure from County Executive Dan Vrakas to cede election responsibilities to her deputy for the upcoming recall races.

Her campaign manager said Saturday she "never ever agreed to hand over the responsibility given to her constitutionally as clerk" to administer the elections. "Kathy is still in charge," said the manager, Dan Hunt, adding Nickolaus was unavailable for comment.

The deputy clerk will serve as liaison between municipal clerks and county clerks, oversee election result processes and make sure the results are reported to the Government Accountability Board, Hunt said.

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Falls' Festge cools hot-hitting Hale in GMC softball showdown, 4-0

April 27, 2012 9:34 p.m. | Menomonee Falls' senior softball pitcher Nikki Festge is a patient woman.

She's been on varsity for three years, but has been used primarily in reserve situations and last year, she was behind NOW All-Suburban selection Nicole Zywiec.

But Festge is now making the most of her opportunity in the spotlight, as she gave up just three hits with seven strikeouts as she led the Indians to a 4-0 victory over previously unbeaten West Allis Hale Friday night in a showdown for first place in the Greater Metro Conference.

"I'm feeling good about things," she said, after the Indians improved to 6-1 overall. "I felt confident going into this season because I knew I would have a good team behind me. We're very good at communicating to one another and everyone does a nice job doing their part."

Her coach Wendy Wolff, a former top-flight collegiate pitcher herself, agreed that Festge is indeed ready to help the Indians defend their GMC title.

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Waukesha County holding prescription drug collection Saturday

April 27, 2012 2:20 p.m. | Waukesha County will be holding a prescription drug collection from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 28. The collection, which is the fourth for the Waukesha County Drug Free Communities Coalition, is an effort to prevent prescription drug abuse and accidental poisonings in Waukesha County as well as help protect local waterways.

Prescription drugs are a gateway for more serious drug use, Capt. Chuck Wood, commander of the Waukesha County Metro Drug Unit, said.

"Everyone sees the danger in drugs like heroin; unfortunately many people do not recognize the danger that lies in unused prescriptions sitting in their medicine cabinets," Wood said. "Diverted pharmaceuticals, when misused, are a large contributor to the drug threat in Waukesha County."

Items that will be accepted include: Prescription medication, over the counter medication, ointments, sprays, inhalers, creams, vials, herbals and pet medications.

Items that will not be accepted include: biohazardous material (including sharps), mercury, household hazardous waste and personal hygiene products.

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Body found in Germantown pond is that of missing Cedarburg man

April 27, 2012 12:24 p.m. | Germantown - The body recovered from a vehicle submerged in a private pond this week was that of Miles P. Leppla, 91, of Cedarburg, Germantown Police Chief Peter Hoell said Friday.

Leppla was reported missing by Cedarburg police on Oct. 4, 2011. He had last been seen at Cedar Springs Health and Rehabilitation Center, where he was visiting his wife.

On Wednesday, a vehicle was pulled out of a pond off Holy Hill Road, east of Division Road, after the Germantown Fire Department Dive Team discovered a body inside of it. A property caretaker had reported a vehicle in the pond on Wednesday.

Foul play is not suspected in Leppla's death, Hoell said. The incident is being investigated as a fatal traffic accident. Holy Hill Road dead ends east of Division Road.

Body, submerged vehicle found in Germantown pond

April 26, 2012 12:07 p.m. | GERMANTOWN - Germantown Police say they have found a body inside a vehicle that was submerged in a private pond.

The discovery of the body happened at about 2:30 p.m. Wednesday at a property near Holy Hill Road, east of Division Road.

TODAY'S TMJ4's Nick Montes reports that a maintenance worker found the car on the property when the sun reflected off of it.

"He saw the sun glint off of something metal," neighbor Victoria Hren told Montes.  "He took a closer look and thought it looked like a car.

Officials have not confirmed the identity of the body, though they believe they know who the person is.

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Blood drive scheduled in Menomonee Falls

April 25, 2012 10:42 a.m. | The BloodCenter of Wisconsin is hosting blood drives throughout Waukesha County in the month of May.

The Menomonee Falls blood drive is scheduled from 1 to 6 p.m. May 3 at M&I BMO Financial Group, N82 W15415 Appleton Ave.

To sign up for the drive visit or call 1-(877) 232-4376. Donors should bring a photo ID. The entire donor process takes about an hour. All blood types are needed.

Donors must be at least 17 years of age, weigh at least 110 pounds and be free of a major cold, flu or allergy symptoms. Donors also cannot have had hepatitis after the age of 11 or have any risk factors or behaviors associated with HIV or AIDS.

According to the BloodCenter, hospitals including Aurora Sinai Medical Center - Summit and Memorial Hospital in Waukesha County, have come to rely on BloodCenter of Wisconsin for a stead supply of blood to treat their patients. Nearly 800 donors are needed every day to help maintain the supply to the hospitals served by the BloodCenter.

Top-ranked Cedarburg outhustles GT kickers, 2-0, in NSC showdown

April 24, 2012 10:43 p.m. | Both Cedarburg goals Tuesday night in the Bulldogs' 2-0 North Shore Conference girls soccer win over Germantown were nothing special, nothing pretty.

But they reflected a certain amount of effort. One befitting a Cedarburg team that is now 5-0 overall (3-0 in league play) and entered the week top-ranked in state coaches' polls.

Warhawk coach Paul Sikinger, whose team fell into a three-way tie for second in the NSC (with Homestead and Nicolet), wished his team could have matched the Bulldogs' energy.

"They were very scrappy goals," he said. '"We knew they were good in the air and on set pieces. We just should have been a little more ready."

With the loss, Germantown is now 2-1 in NSC play and 6-2 overall. The week will only get more intense for the Warhawks on Thursday, when they host number two ranked in state Brookfield Central at 7 p.m. in a nonconference game.

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GAB announces plan to speed Waukesha election reports

April 24, 2012 11:16 a.m. | Waukesha - Vote results from throughout Waukesha County should be available online more quickly in the recall elections because municipal clerks will be entering unofficial results directly into a state vote canvass reporting system, rather than leaving it to the county clerk's staff.

Those results will simultaneously be available to the Waukesha County clerk's office, which is still responsible for posting results on election night.

In a statement Tuesday, Kevin Kennedy, director and general counsel for the Government Accountability Board, said the agency created Wisconsin's canvass reporting system using a federal grant in 2010 so county clerks could use it to report canvass results - the official totals that are checked several days after an election - to the state electronically.

However, the Web-based system was built with a tool for municipal clerks to enter unofficial results on election night. Kennedy said all Waukesha County municipal clerks will be asked to use that tool for the May 8 primaries and the June 5 recalls.

The process means that local clerks do not have to drive voting machine tapes into the county clerk's office in Waukesha after polls close, as they did April 3, so that she and her staff can enter the data.

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School Board talks budget before May vote

April 23, 2012 9:32 p.m. | Although nothing will be finalized until May, the Menomonee Falls School District is anticipating no more than 5.5 full time employee layoffs at the end of the school year.

The announcement was made during the Menomonee Falls School Board meeting Monday night while Superintendent Patricia Greco lead the final discussion on the 2012-2013 preliminary budget. When the budget was first looked at months ago, the district was projecting between seven to 12 layoffs, however, as numbers become more finalized that number was reduced.

The board will vote on the preliminary budget May 14.

"We have a little bit of time before we have to declare final layoffs so we will continue to watch that," Greco said.

The district will have a balanced budget for the upcoming year and is anticipating a .5 percent mill levy reduction in fall, which equals a 5 cent reduction per $1,000 of property value in the mill rate.

Nominations now accepted for Falls Athletic Hall of Fame

April 23, 2012 2:10 p.m. | Area residents have until May 4 to mail or e-mail nominations in for the 2012 class of the Falls Athletic Hall of Fame. They can send their nominations (including background information and credentials of the nominee) to Athletic Director Dave Petroff at either his e-mail address of or through the mail to him at Menomonee Falls High School, W142 N8101 Merrimac Dr., Menomonee Falls, WI 53051.

Menomonee Falls firm ships energy storage units

April 23, 2012 11:07 a.m. | ZBB Energy Corp. said its Menomonee Falls factory has shipped four energy storage systems to customers in China and the United States.

The company has been ramping up production in recent months after it hit a key product certification milestone.

The recent shipments include one to China and three to the United States, including two that high-tech firms will use for testing and demonstration of the ZBB EnerSystem.

These systems include energy storage and power control systems that can connect to the power grid and combine flow batteries with renewables such as solar or wind to deliver power.

These shipments are in addition to the components shipped to the company’s China joint venture beginning in mid-February, the company said.

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Germantown teacher and coach charged with sexually assaulting student

April 20, 2012 6:10 p.m. | A teacher and coach at Germantown High School was charged Friday with sexually assaulting a female student from the school at his home in Milwaukee.

Eric P. Glass, 29, faces three counts of sexual assault of a student by school staff, a felony punishable by up to three years in prison.

According to a criminal complaint filed in Milwaukee County Circuit Court:

Glass and the 17-year-old girl were together dancing and kissing at a concert in Milwaukee on April 9 before he drove her to her parents' home in Germantown, where she got a car and then drove back to his home in northwest Milwaukee where they had sex.

They had intercourse at Glass's house again on the April 11, and sexual contact on April 14, after she called Glass to say they needed to talk because rumors about them were starting to circulate at the school.

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DA reviewing allegations against Germantown teacher

April 20, 2012 2:44 p.m. | The Milwaukee District Attorney's office is reviewing allegations against a Germantown teacher for inappropriate contact with a high school student.

Late last week, a teacher with the Germantown School District was reported for having "inappropriate contact" with a student at a nonschool sponsored event in Milwaukee. The gender and age of the teacher in question have not been released.

A report was filed by the school district with the Milwaukee Police Department and the teacher was placed on administrative leave with pay on April 16, according to a news release from the School District. According to the district, the leave was necessary to allow time for the police department to conduct an accurate and thorough investigation of the allegation.

The school district and a spokeswoman with the Milwaukee Police Department said additional information is not available at this time as it is an ongoing investigation. The teacher's leave will continue until the investigations are further along and employment status at that time will be re-evaluated, according to the school district. will have more details when available.

Prescription drug collections set in Waukesha County

April 16, 2012 3:10 p.m. | Waukesha - Waukesha County will hold a prescription drug collection at seven sites around the county from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 28.

A consortium called Waukesha County Drug Free Communities is sponsoring its fourth collection in order to prevent prescription drug abuse and accidental poisonings, as well as to keep unused drugs from being flushed into local waterways.

The collections will be at the Brookfield Recycling Center, Community Memorial Hospital in Menomonee Falls, the D.N. Greenwald Center in Mukwonago, the Muskego Police Department, Oconomowoc Memorial Hospital, the Waukesha County Technical College campus in Pewaukee and Waukesha State Bank's downtown Waukesha headquarters.

For more information, including directions to the collection sites, see

New Berlin ousts Wauwatosa to win Battle of the Burbs

April 13, 2012 8:37 a.m. | The voters in MyCommunityNOW's Battle of the Burbs contest have spoken and New Berlin has been tabbed the best place to live in the suburban Milwaukee area.

The second-seeded Waukesha-county suburb cruised past No. 1 Wauwatosa with 65 percent of the vote to 35 percent.

Congratulations to Mark Klug of Greendale, who was randomly chosen from all voters to receive a $100 gift card. Kudos are also in order for William Smith of Waukesha, who will receive a $50 gift card and Jennifer Phelps of New Berlin, who will receive a $25 gift card.

Thanks to all of our voters for taking part in the contest.

Peacocks ruffling feathers in one Germantown neighborhood

April 10, 2012 11:42 a.m. | A trio of pets are apparently making themselves more than at home in one Germantown neighborhood, to some chagrin.

According to the Germantown police report:

A resident in the W217 N9700 block of White Horse Drive called police last week to report three peacocks belonging to a neighbor are constantly on his property, leaving behind droppings on the roof, cars and patio furniture.

The owner of the peacocks was warned and advised about keeping the birds on her own property.

An officer was able to corral the peacocks and have them slowly return to their residence.

Menomonee Falls to soon complete Stolper land purchase

April 06, 2012 7:00 a.m. | The Menomonee Falls Community Development Authority expects to complete its purchase this month of the 17-acre former Stolper/Western Industries facility, which will be redeveloped.

The authority's board Thursday night approved the purchase closing, which was first authorized in 2009. The village is buying the property for $600,000, from Western Industries Inc., and is spending $4.7 million on demolishing the former factory and doing an environmental cleanup on the site, said Village Manager Mark Fitzgerald. 

That money will be repaid through property taxes generated by new development within a tax incremental financing district that includes the the former factory site, which is west of Pilgrim Road and south of Highway 45.

A developer, whom Fitzgerald declined to name, is interested in buying the site once the cleanup is finished. That work should be done by late summer, he said.

The work of developing new retail and other commercial uses on the land could begin this fall, Fitzgerald said.

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Under pressure, Nickolaus hands off election duties

April 05, 2012 10:18 p.m. | Waukesha - Waukesha County Executive Dan Vrakas said he would publicly call for County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus' resignation unless she handed off her election duties in the upcoming recalls to her deputy clerk.

Nickolaus chose the latter. She agreed to allow outside consultants and county staff to work with her deputy, Kelly Yaeger, to handle the election, Vrakas said.

"The county will move swiftly to examine the election night procedures in the county clerk's office and make changes as necessary to restore the public's confidence in our elections," Vrakas said in a statement late this afternoon.

In an interview, Vrakas said, "I appreciate the fact that she understands the importance of restoring confidence in Waukesha County election night reporting. Swift, detailed, orderly reporting that should be available on the Internet. When given the choice to step down or step aside, she made the right decision."

Nickolaus again came under scrutiny because her Tuesday night election efforts resulted in long delays in reporting results. Based on an agreement with the state Government Accountability Board - one that came about after she omitted 14,000 votes from unofficial totals on election night - Nickolaus was to post paper voting machine tape records outside her office as soon as municipal clerks delivered them in person. Then she was to electronically upload the memory cards of the municipal ballot machines and produce summary reports throughout the night.

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Germantown's Showalter named All-Suburban Boys Basketball Player of the Year

April 05, 2012 9:24 a.m. | Germantown senior Zak Showalter has been named the NOW All-Suburban Boys Basketball Player of the Year for the second consecutive season.

Showalter helped the Warhawks to a 28-0 mark and the WIAA Division 1 boys basketball championship last month.

He is joined on the NOW squad by teammate Luke Fischer and Steve Showalter, Zak's father and the co-coach of the year.

West Allis Central head coach David Mlachnik shares coach of the year honors.

Photo gallery: Zak Showalter through the years

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More election night problems in Waukesha

April 04, 2012 10:12 p.m. | Waukesha - Another election, another controversy over the performance of Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus.

Nickolaus may have done her re-election campaign no favors Tuesday night when her plans to post timely election results online and update them periodically for the public failed.

Citizens checking for results online were left in the dark for hours after voting ended, while reporters and data collectors for election reporting services resorted to tabulating contested races from yards of paper tapes hanging on walls around a meeting room. The process was akin to reading a long grocery receipt where, in some cases, the tape stretched down the wall and onto the floor in a heap.

Problems with Nickolaus' reporting system were evident soon after the earliest municipal clerks delivered, in person as she required, the voting machine memory packs and paper tapes showing vote totals. When Nickolaus' staff tried to upload results from the memory cards into the county clerk's reporting program, it wouldn't work.

"We were shocked," she said Wednesday, noting that she and her staff had tested the reporting program "many times."

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Firefighters battling blaze at Falls recycling center

April 04, 2012 11:10 a.m. | Firefighters from 10 jurisdictions are at the scene of a fire at the Veolia Hazardous Materials Recycling Center in Menomonee Falls.

The fire started sometime before 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at the industrial recycling facility near 9300 N. Boundary Road. The fire was under control as of 11 a.m., according to the Menomonee Falls Fire Department.

Firefighters from Menomonee Falls, Lannon, Sussex, the City of Brookfield, City of Waukesha Hazardous Materials unit, Richfield, Wauwatosa, Mequon, Germantown and Butler were dispatched to the scene.

No information was immediately available on what was burning, what caused the fire or whether anyone was injured.

Tadda, Noshay win Menomonee Falls School Board race

April 03, 2012 11:24 p.m. | Paul Tadda was the top vote-getter in the Menomonee Falls School Board race receiving 4,029 votes Tuesday, about 40 percent. The top two candidates were elected to the board.

Incumbent David Noshay resumes his seat on the board after securing 2,801 votes, 24 percent, beating Michele Divelbiss who followed closely behind with 2,661 votes, and Richard Houdek, who garnered 2,388 votes.

Election results remain unofficial until they are certified by the Board of Canvassers, which met Wednesday, after press deadline.

Menomonee Falls School Board members receive $5,000 annually and serve three-year terms.

Zabel re-elected to Germantown Village Board

April 03, 2012 11:10 p.m. | Incumbent Art Zabel will resume his seat on the Germantown Village Board after receiving 925 votes against challenger and Mequon police officer John Hoell, who received 539 votes.

Election results remain unofficial until they are certified by the Board of Canvassers, which meets Wednesday, after press deadline.

Zabel is not new to the Village Board. He was first elected as a board trustee from 1984-1991. He then held the village presidency from 1991-1993 before resuming his role as a trustee from 2006-present.

Village Board members serve three-year terms and receive $5,500 annually.

Larson, Loth, Barney win contentious Germantown School Board race

April 03, 2012 11:06 p.m. | After combining forces to create a campaign flier, the candidates running on a vocal conservative platform swept the Germantown School Board elections Tuesday night. Sarah Larson continued to be unstoppable at the polls after defeating Lisa Laskowski for Seat 1 in the primary in what turned out to be an unusually contentious race. Michael Loth defeated Gregory Anderson for Seat 6 and Thomas Barney beat incumbent Thomas Bowe for Seat 7.

Election results remain unofficial until they are certified by the Board of Canvassers, which meets Wednesday, after NOW's press deadline. Larson and Loth will hold three-year terms. Barney will serve a one-year term.

Larson won with 3,913 votes that include votes from Germantown, the village of Richfield and Colgate. Laskowski received 2,016 votes. Loth beat Anderson with 3,490 votes compared with 2,017. Barney received 3,284 votes and Bowe 2,199 votes.

A small portion of the town of Polk is also in the Germantown School District, but results have not been posted on the Washington County website as of 11 p.m.

Board members receive $4,000 a year.

Brandtjen takes seat in District 5

April 03, 2012 10:30 p.m. | Janel Brandtjen won the newly created Waukesha County Board District 5 seat with 2,298 votes beating out fellow current board member Jim Dwyer who had 1,750 votes in unofficial results posted Tuesday night.

District 5 represents Menomonee Falls and parts of Lannon.

Balanced GT girls battle injuries to take second in NSC Indoor meet

April 03, 2012 9:24 p.m. | With top performers Sammie Gassner (foot) and Leah Wheaton (knee) out before the season even started, the Germantown girls track team knew it had to improvise in the early going.

So far the plan is working, as the Warhawks, despite not a single event first still managed a strong second-place finish in the North Shore Conference Indoor at Cedarburg Tuesday night.

"All we could do going into this meet was what we could do," said coach Greg Siegert. "We just told the kids to do your best and forget about the rest, and look what we were able to do. We had just a ton of PRs tonight."

Germantown scored 80 points for its spot as Grafton won with 100 and defending champion Whitefish Bay was third with 75.

The Warhawks took four second place finishes to lead their efforts, as Jayne Bertieri took one in the 55-meter dash (7.86) while others went to Jennifer Ellis in the 55 hurdles (9.34), Bethany Laubenheimer in the long jump (16-3 1/2) and Melissa Asmondy in the shot put (34-2 3/4).

» Read Full Article

Fiduciary proposes large apartment development in Menomonee Falls

April 03, 2012 7:00 a.m. | Fiduciary Real Estate Development Inc. plans to build 330 apartments on 40 acres in Menomonee Falls over two years starting in spring 2013, under a proposal pending before the village Plan Commission.

The apartments, which would include 80 units for seniors, are planned for land on the south side of Highway Q, just east of Grace Lutheran Church, which opened last year near Maple Drive. 

Along with senior housing, Fiduciary is proposing 250 units in 25 buildings, said Craig Raddatz, Fiduciary's development director.

The 10 two-story buildings would have both one- and two-bedroom apartments, with attached garages, he said.

Those units would have an average size of around 1,100 square feet, with monthly rents of around $1,100 to $1,500, he said. The development would include a clubhouse and swimming pool.

» Read Full Article

Village extends deadline to purchase golf course land

April 02, 2012 10:44 p.m. | The deadline has come and gone for the owners of the Blackstone Creek Golf Course to approve the sale of more than 20 acres of land to the Village of Germantown.

A month has gone by since the Germantown board of trustees first voted to purchase approximately 24 acres of the Blackstone Creek Golf Course. When the board voted to approve the land acquisition March 5, owners of the golf course, Frank Romano and Troy Schmidt were given four days to approve the agreement. The board of trustees unanimously voted Monday night to extend the offer deadline to April 12.

The acquisition of the 24 acres would put in motion a land agreement the village has with the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District. Should the village purchase a portion of the golf course, MMSD would buy the bulk of the course for the purposes of park and flood management in the floodplain of the Menomonee River.

MMSD would also give 131 acres to be combined with the village's 24 acres for the creation of a public park consisting of about 153-acres. In return, the village would hand over control of 204 acres at the river's headwaters to MMSD as part of the Greenseams flood management program.

Community Watch

» Nickolaus won't run for re-election as Waukesha County clerk Updated:  4/28

» Falls' Festge cools hot-hitting Hale in GMC softball showdown, 4-0 4/27

» Waukesha County holding prescription drug collection Saturday 4/27

» Body found in Germantown pond is that of missing Cedarburg man 4/27

» Body, submerged vehicle found in Germantown pond Updated:  4/26

» Blood drive scheduled in Menomonee Falls 4/25

» Top-ranked Cedarburg outhustles GT kickers, 2-0, in NSC showdown 4/24

» GAB announces plan to speed Waukesha election reports 4/24

» School Board talks budget before May vote 4/23

» Nominations now accepted for Falls Athletic Hall of Fame 4/23

» Menomonee Falls firm ships energy storage units 4/23

» Germantown teacher and coach charged with sexually assaulting student 4/20

» DA reviewing allegations against Germantown teacher 4/20

» Prescription drug collections set in Waukesha County 4/16

» New Berlin ousts Wauwatosa to win Battle of the Burbs 4/13

» Peacocks ruffling feathers in one Germantown neighborhood 4/10

» Menomonee Falls to soon complete Stolper land purchase 4/6

» Under pressure, Nickolaus hands off election duties Updated:  4/5

» Germantown's Showalter named All-Suburban Boys Basketball Player of the Year 4/5

» More election night problems in Waukesha Updated:  4/4

» Firefighters battling blaze at Falls recycling center 4/4

» Tadda, Noshay win Menomonee Falls School Board race 4/3

» Zabel re-elected to Germantown Village Board 4/3

» Larson, Loth, Barney win contentious Germantown School Board race 4/3

» Brandtjen takes seat in District 5 4/3

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Best Summer Ever


We've made it easy for you to get out and go this summer. From hitting the trails for a bike ride or walk, to where to find beer gardens in the area, to the best places to swim in Waukesha County to the best summer drinks and summer reads, check out our 2016 summer guide.