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New Berlin Ethics Board unanimously dismisses complaint against Laura Karvala

Jan. 04, 2013 8:55 a.m. | The New Berlin Ethics Board on Thursday unanimously dismissed an ethics complaint about New Berlin Alderwoman Laura Karvala, saying the complaint didn't meet the requirements in the in city's codes.

Michael Neuens, chairman of the three-member Ethics Board, announced that the board agrees with Karvala's attorney that the complaint is insufficient.

In a letter to the city's Ethics Board, attorney Michael Maistelman had argued that the Jan. 3 ethics hearing should be dismissed, citing reasons why the Ethics Board should not have found probable cause to hold the hearing in the first place.

Those reasons included that elements of the complaint were unverified and that Karvala did not get to present her side at the board's meeting on Dec. 4, when it considered the complaint and petition signed by numerous Glen Park subdivision residents.

The complaint alleges that Karvala should have recused herself from a New Berlin Common Council vote for temporary closure of Wilbur Drive. That closure, which may become permanent, would increase the value of Karvala's home that is located on Wilbur, the complaint alleges.

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Lombardo, Nowak earn NOW All-Suburban honors

July 06, 2015 4:38 p.m. | New Berlin Eisenhower's battery of senior Stephanie Lombardo and junior Ali Nowak were named to the NOW All-Suburban 2015 Softball Team, a talented group of 16 players chosen from the 23 area teams we cover.

Lombardo and Nowak were highly thought of on the NOW Sports Staff, as they were unanimous choices. Lombardo finished second in the NOW Player of the Year voting, coming just one vote from repeating.

She has been first team in the infield as a sophomore and a junior and she was first team as a utility player this year since she was an outstanding pitcher and hitter/shortstop. Nowak made the team for the first time after being high honorable mention last year as a sophomore, losing a vote-off for first team.

"I couldn't stop smiling when I found out," Nowak said, "I wanted to make it this year — it was one of my goals."

Stephanie Lombardo

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Sports Notes: July 9, 2015

July 06, 2015 2:28 p.m. |

Szczupakiewicz on

Miami (Ohio) team

Emma Szczupakiewicz of Muskego earned a roster spot on the women's swimming and diving team at Miami of Ohio University for the fall season.

Szczupakiewicz, who won the first-ever individual state swimming championship for Muskego High School as a junior, will earn a bachelor of art degree while majoring in political science.

New Berlin golfers earn

state academic honors

The Golf Coaches Association of Wisconsin is pleased to announce three New Berlin golfers earned Academic All-State honors for the boys golf season.

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Muskego baseball team finds more ways to win games

June 29, 2015 1:09 p.m. | When a team is as consistently successful as Muskego is in baseball this season, that squad is likely winning in a variety of ways.

The Warriors found yet another way to pull out a victory last week, outlasting Mukwonago in a 15-11 slugfest on June 27 behind rallies of seven runs in the fifth inning and six in the seventh.

"We haven't had many slugfests this year," coach Jacob Paige said. "It was nice to prove we can win one of those."

Muskego has won in just about every other way so far this season. Last week, for example, the Warriors prevailed in a pair of routs, 9-1 over Greenfield on June 26 and 12-2 over Waukesha North on June 24, as well as in a back-and-forth 7-5 triumph over Waukesha West on June 23.

The Warriors improved to 17-2 overall and 13-1 in the Classic 8 Conference, two games ahead of Waukesha West (11-3).

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New Berlin School District taxpayers would get bang for buck

June 25, 2015 4:58 p.m. | The New Berlin School Board on Monday approved a preliminary budget for the 2015-16 school year that would give Eisenhower Middle/High School a new swimming pool and transform its library into a learning commons plus air conditioning two elementary schools.

But the property tax levy would only increase 1.2 percent.

A major reason for the small increase is that the district has been able to sell some excess property and the proceeds will nearly pay for the $2.1 million new swimming pool. Heating and air conditioning improvements that were needed in the pool area whether the district invested in a new swimming pool or not are estimated at another $1.1 million. So, total spending in the pool area would be $3.2 million.

Also helping keep taxes down is the district now having enough surplus funds to be able to cover some facilities projects. Some also are included in an $8.2 million borrowing the school board previously approved.

The other main proposed facilities projects are air conditioning at Poplar Creek and Orchard Lane $3,700,000; HVAC updates at those schools, $1,470,500; converting the Eisenhower Library to a commons, about $850,000; and reconstructing the Eisenhower parking lot, $2.6 million over two years with $1 million being in the 2015-16 budget.

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GoPro video: Watch divers take on invasive algae in Little Muskego Lake

June 25, 2015 1:30 p.m. | Little Muskego Lake officials are dismayed by the virulent growth of the lake-killing starry stonewort lake algae that was only discovered in the lake last fall.

Volunteer diver Rob Glazier, a former Muskego alderman, said after Tuesday's dive that the algae was only in scattered spots when they dove about a month ago, now it looks like a carpet. The algae dies back in winter and is only now growing for another season, a lake expert said.

Removing it will be a much bigger job than many had previously thought.

The algae's growth has given rise to fears that it may have spread outside the bay where it was discovered. Containing it inside the bay off is key to efforts to stamp out starry stonewort before it gets a strong foothold in the lake.

In coming weeks, volunteer divers will check other areas of the lake for any spread of the algae and a crew from the Southeastern Wisconsin Planning Commission will be out on the lake raking it every few feet, looking for evidence of starry stonewort.

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New Berlin School Board approves $3.2 million Eisenhower pool renovation

June 23, 2015 11:55 a.m. | New Berlin — After years of battling over whether the failing swimming pool at Eisenhower Middle/High School should be rehabilitated because of cost, the New Berlin School Board on Monday voted to go ahead with the project, paying for it with proceeds from the sale of district properties and with surplus funds.

The renovation will cost $2.1 million. Adding a 950 square-foot addition to expand the pool to eight lanes, HVAC, plumbing, electrical, fire protection and pool operation equipment brings the total to $3.2 million.

Swim parents have argued for years that even according to the school district's own ranking system, the Eisenhower swimming pool is a high priority item. But it was hard to win administration and school board approval because of the price tag. School officials argued that they could get several other building projects done with the money it would take to fix the Eisenhower pool. Parents argued that none of those other projects ranked anywhere close to the Eisenhower pool on the district's facilities needs ranking system.

Work on the pool will probably not start until mid-November and it should be done early to late summer, so it will be ready for swim season next fall, said Roger Dickson, chief finance and operations officer.

"I'm delighted, it's really wonderful," said Russ Bellford, who for the last eight years spoke, wrote and pushed on behalf of swim parents to rescue the ailing pool. The fear was that it would finally break down and the school board would shut it down because of the cost to fix it.

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Waukesha woman named Miss Wisconsin

June 20, 2015 11:03 p.m. | Rosalie Elizabeth Smith, 19, of Waukesha was named Miss Wisconsin 2015 at the Alberta Kimball Auditorium at Oshkosh West High School on Saturday night.

The 2014 graduate of Waukesha North High School was Miss New Berlin. She will be a sophomore nursing student in the fall at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

South Milwaukee man charged in deaths of two bicyclists in Muskego

June 18, 2015 4:58 p.m. | Brett Hartley, 20, South Milwaukee, has been charged in Waukesha County circuit court with two counts of second degree reckless homicide in the deaths of two bicyclists in Muskego.

According to the criminal complaint, Hartley told police that he had fallen asleep at the wheel, a statement confirmed by one of the witnesses who said he saw his eyes closed while the vehicle was in motion.

Hartley's SUV allegedly veered off the road and fatally injured a bicyclist from Oak Creek and another from Franklin. The accident happened on Loomis Road (Highway 36) and Muskego Dam Drive about 6:30 a.m. June 6.

According to the complaint, Hartley told police that he had been at a party in Richfield and had left about 6 a.m., having been up all night. The blood test shows that he had alcohol in his system but the level was well under the legal limit for driving.

Sendik's opening Fresh2Go location in Greendale

June 17, 2015 10:28 a.m. | Sendik's Food Markets plans to open a Sendik's Fresh2Go store in the Village of Greendale. The store, which will include gasoline pumps, will be located at 6200 W. Loomis Ave. at the northwest corner of Loomis Road and Southway.

This will be the second Fresh2Go location for the chain. The other is located in Bayside.

The store is expected to open in the summer of 2016 with 45 employees. This is the 14th announced metro Milwaukee location for the Whitefish Bay-based grocer. Another location, a full line store, is planned for The Corners of Brookfield.

Lake Denoon Middle School up for $20,000 grant, but needs support

June 16, 2015 1:29 p.m. | Muskego — Lake Denoon Middle School in Muskego is one of 10 finalists in the 2015 Let's Play Video Contest, but it needs lots of grassroots support from now until Friday to win a $20,000 grant to create a playground at the school.

Let's Play is an initiative by the Dr Pepper Snapple Group with KaBOOM!, a national nonprofit organization supporting the benefits of play, to provide the opportunity for children and families to make active play a daily priority.

Lake Denoon students created a video about why play is important, even in a world full of electronics, and it made it into the top 10.

Now it needs votes from the community and play advocates to choose it as their favorite playground video on facebook.com/letsplay. Voting started June 15 and will end Friday, June 26. Winners will be announced June 29.

Five $20,000 grants will be awarded.

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Watry Homes owner to plead guilty to fraud, pay $1.6 million settlement

June 15, 2015 6:53 p.m. | The owner of a New Berlin construction company will plead guilty to conspiracy to defraud the federal government and pay more than $1.6 million to resolve criminal charges and a whistleblower lawsuit, according to a plea agreement and other documents filed Monday.

Federal prosecutors will recommend that Scott Watry, owner of Watry Homes, be sentenced to one year and a day in prison for paying employees less than the mandated prevailing wage to do federally funded work at the Westlawn public housing project in Milwaukee, despite telling federal officials he was paying the proper rate.

The difference — which should have gone to workers — stayed with the company.

"That is the essence of the fraud," said James Santelle, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin.

The investigation, which the whistleblower suit says involves contracts issued through the stimulus act created by the Obama administration in 2009, was first reported by the Journal Sentinel in 2013 after the FBI and other investigators raided Watry's offices.

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Muskego development director earns a top professional honor

June 11, 2015 12:44 p.m. | Muskego —Jeff Muenkel, community development director for Muskego, has earned the designation of certified economic developer (CEcD), a national recognition that denotes mastery of principal skills in economic development, professional attainment and a commitment to personal and professional growth.

Only 33 development professionals in Wisconsin have earned the honor. There are only about 1,100 nationwide.

Candidates for the CEcD designation must pass a three-part, two-day examination testing knowledge, proficiency and judgment in key areas of economic development, including business retention and expansion, marketing, finance, workforce development, community development, real estate, strategic planning, tech-led economic development and management.

The CEcD exam was administered by the International Economic Development Council on June 6 and 7 in Madison at the Monona Terrace Convention Center.

With more than 10 years of economic development experience, Muenkel already has earned the American Institute of Certified Planners designation and an Economic Development Finance Professional designation.

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Heavy rain expected tonight

June 11, 2015 8:16 a.m. | Periods of heavy rain are expected today and tonight, including in Waukesha, Milwaukee and Jefferson counties.

Thunderstorms will produce heavy downpours, according to the National Weather Service, carrying the risk of urban flooding and ponding of water on roadways.
Rainfall totals are expected to reach 1 to 2-1/2 inches. 

Inmate pleads guilty in 2008 death of former New Berlin man

June 09, 2015 2:48 p.m. | A federal inmate pleaded guilty Tuesday in the death of a former New Berlin man whose body was found in a Marinette County creek about a year after he disappeared from Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

Eric Volp, 28, was last seen leaving a bar in Iron Mountain, Mich., the morning of Oct. 11, 2008. Volp had moved to Iron Mountain a few months earlier.

His body was found along K.C. Creek, upstream from a U.S. Highway 8 bridge over the creek in Dunbar, on July 6, 2009. An autopsy showed he had died from multiple blunt force trauma.

Erik M. Smith, 33, was a suspect from the start, because witnesses had seen him leaving the bar with Volp. Though authorities in Michigan and Wisconsin continued to investigate Volp's disappearance, and then suspicious death, it wasn't until a tipster came forward sometime after 2011 that investigators decided to charge Smith.

Smith, by now an inmate at a Colorado federal prison, was charged in January with first-degree reckless homicide, homicide by negligent operation of a motor vehicle, hit and run resulting in death, and hiding a corpse.

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Nothing suspicious in death of New Berlin woman, 53: medical examiner

June 03, 2015 5:18 p.m. | The cause of death of Connie Sweet, 53, of New Berlin in the Waukesha County Jail on May 30 is believed to be from natural causes, according to the Waukesha County Medical Examiner's Office.

Officials are awaiting results of toxicology reports before ruling definitively on cause of death, but nothing suspicious was found in the autopsy, a spokesman said.

The city of Waukesha Police Department has been looking into the death at the request of Sheriff Eric Severson.

About 5:16 p.m. on May 30, a Waukesha County sheriff's deputy conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle, resulting in Sweet's arrest for a warrant and a subsequent drug charge.

At about 4 a.m. June 1, jail personnel found that she was not breathing. Lifesaving measures were performed, and she was taken to Waukesha Memorial Hospital where she was pronounced dead.

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