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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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Initial Reaction Podcast: A look ahead to US Open 2017, look back at Champions Tour event in Madison

2:00 p.m. | Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel sports columnist and golf writer Gary D'Amato stops by to chat about the next U.S. Open, to be hosted at Erin Hills Golf Course in Erin, Wisconsin. He also talks a little Bucks draft, and JP and JR focus on the selection of Thon Maker and the landing spots for former Wisconsin prep products Henry Ellenson and Diamond Stone. Plus, JP reports back from the inaugural PGA Tour Champions event, the American Family Insurance Championship, in Madison and the Kohler Grand Prix IndyCar race at Elkhart Lake. Each week, Lake Country/Now sports director JR Radcliffe and Time Warner Cable Sports Channel's JP Cadorin chat about the Wisconsin sports scene, with an emphasis on Milwaukee-area preps. Find the podcast on Stitcher and iTunes.

2016 Fourth of July events in the Milwaukee suburbs

June 28, 2016 11:50 a.m. | From the North Shore, to Oak Creek and Franklin, to Wauwatosa and Brookfield and West Allis and New Berlin, and all of the other communities within the MyCommunity NOW coverage area, there are plenty of Fourth of July festivities to take part in. Below is a list separated by county and in alphabetical order of events planned to celebrate Independence Day 2016. If you know of an event you don't see listed below, email us at news@jrn.com.  

Milwaukee County

Bay View

Juy 4

Celebrate the 4th of July in Humboldt Park, 3000 S. Howell Ave. This year’s theme is joining hands for peace. No alcoholic beverages are allowed in Milwaukee County Parks without a permit. For the latest updates, visit www.city.milwaukee.gov/july4th.

9 to 10:15 a.m.: parade, starting at South Kinnickinnic Avenue and East Linus Street, proceeds to park.

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Menomonee Falls to hold forum on East Main Street redevelopment

June 28, 2016 10:07 a.m. | Community members will have a chance to see what changes could be made to East Main Street in Menomonee Falls during a June 30 forum in the Village Hall Board Room from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The corridor of East Main Street, located between Pilgrim Road and Interstate 41/US 45, received a redevelopment plan in 2005, but economic conditions limited the plan's feasibility.

Today, however, the village is set to raise the area's profile and will highlight potential development opportunities during the forum, according to a village press release.

The forum, hosted by the Menomonee Falls Community Development Authority and the Department of Community Development, will include a short informational presentation at 5:45 p.m.

The rest of the event will be an open house, according to the release, where the public can visit stations to learn more about targeted development sites, site improvement grants and landscaping concepts.

Thomas and big bats lead Germantown baseball team over Bay, 6-1

June 27, 2016 9:02 p.m. | Germantown athlete Bryce Thomas is a busy guy.

When he's not hitting spikes and making digs for his Milwaukee Volleyball Club team that is headed to the national tournament this week in Dallas, he's out there striking batters out and clubbing home runs for the Warhawks' baseball team.

Tonight's agenda included a game at the Warhawks' Ritzenthaler Dream Field as Thomas threw 5-1/3 innings against Whitefish Bay, with five strikeouts and three walks and then clubbed a third inning home run that broke open the game for a 6-1 home victory over the Blue Dukes.

"I'm feeling a lot better, between the volleyball and the baseball my shoulder was feeling a little sore, but I was able to get a little rest and now I'm fine," he said.

The victory built on the two wins the Warhawks earned in a round-robin at UW-Whitewater on June 25 and improved their North Shore record to 6-9 and their overall mark to 13-10 in just their fourth home game of the year.

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We will miss you "Sky" Skibosh

June 27, 2016 8:51 p.m. | Yes, at times, Thomas "Sky" Skibosh did indeed drive us all a little crazy.

The endless talks about fantasy sports, his family, his health, etc., etc., etc. They were something else at times.

But that was just part of his charm and part of why he will be missed so.

The soon-to-be-retired Brookfield, Wauwatosa and New Berlin reporter came to us at the former Community Newspapers organization in 2002 as an editor. Already well-known for his work with the Milwaukee Brewers (which he never failed to reference at a moment's notice) and public speaking, he started off as an editor and quickly morphed into a sportswriter, a position he seemed born to do.

A native of Brookfield, he quickly "booted" me out of my favored sportswriting position that I held for many years, and of course, quickly made it his own.

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Police continue search for suspect in indecent exposure incident in Menomonee Falls

June 27, 2016 4:06 p.m. | Menomonee Falls - Menomonee Falls Police are still searching for a man who allegedly exposed himself to two young girls on Wednesday, June 20. Assistant Chief of Police Mark Waters said there have been no new reports of any similar incidents in or near the area where the crime occurred.

The incident occurred at 2:30 p.m. near the 16100 block of Kenwood Blvd. The suspect, who was described as a heavyset white male in his early 20s, of shorter stature, short hair and no facial hair, stopped his gray, newer convertible to ask two young girls for directions, after which he exposed himself to the juveniles.

The suspect was later seen driving eastbound on Kenwood Blvd from the location of the incident.

The Menomonee Falls School District sent an email alert out to parents on Friday morning describing the circumstances of the crime and reminding students not to approach unfamiliar vehicles.

"The crime alert was brought to our attention Friday morning by one of our school liaison officers, and the email was sent out shortly after," said Megan Sheridan, communications director of the Menomonee Falls School District. "Our partnership with MFPD is a pretty great one, and we value the fact that they keep us in the loop even outside of the regular school year."

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Menomonee Falls baseball team fine-tuning things heading into tournaments

June 27, 2016 1:00 p.m. | The storied history of the Oak Creek baseball team is filled with balls sprayed all over the park and epic home runs.

But with a dry, rock-hard infield June 21 at Abendschein Park against red-hot defending state champion Menomonee Falls, the Knights played a little small ball and used it to great effect.

The first three batters in both the second and fourth innings got on base without the benefit of the ball leaving the infield. The Knights wound up scoring twice in each frame and then rode DJ Ellifson's complete-game effort to a pivotal, 5-1 victory.

"I even thought about a safety squeeze late, and I'm not a fan of squeezing," said Knights coach Scott Holler, "but I do like to bunt. I saw an opportunity to keep pushing things, and we got a couple of balls down.

"And it was a really fast track tonight (on the infield)."

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Road trip to Whitewater helps Germantown baseball team

June 27, 2016 12:35 p.m. | Nothing like a little getaway to take your mind off your troubles.

That's what the Germantown baseball team did on June 25 when it went down to UW-Whitewater for a doubleheader as part of a round-robin involving a number of teams.

The Warhawks, who had dropped three North Shore Conference decisions during the week, bounced back by beating both Brookfield East (10-8) and Pius XI (9-6).

"We really needed that," said coach Jeff Wolf. "What was really nice is that we really hit the ball well, especially at clutch moments. I think we scored at least 10 of our runs that day with two out."

The two wins lifted the Warhawks to 11-10 overall. Earlier in the week, they had lost to North Shore foes Kewaskum on June 23 (8-3), West Bend West on June 21 (2-0) and West Bend East on June 20 (6-3).

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Menomonee Falls youth soccer program joins Milwaukee Kickers

June 27, 2016 12:15 p.m. | As part of the reorganization project going on in the Menomonee Falls youth and high school soccer programs, area soccer officials announced Falls is now an established region in the Milwaukee Kickers organization.

According to a press release, the organization, after some restructuring in the last few years, has grown to 230 active players on 18 different teams. They are looking for players ages 5 and up to join them for what they promise is "another fun year."

Along those lines, Milwaukee Kickers Falls is accepting registrations for the 2016-17 soccer year.

The soccer year is divided into two seasons: fall and spring. Participants will take part in one or two practices per week and then play games on the weekend. The fall season runs from the end of August to the end of October, and the spring season runs from the first of April to mid-June. Some teams also opt to play in a couple of tournament events each year. Student-athletes who want to play multiple sports are welcome.

The cost will vary depending on the age group (between $195-325). The cost covers player registration fees paid to the state association; fees collected by Kickers as the host organization; team registration fees; uniforms; field rental and maintenance; port-a-johns; referee expenses; and ancillary costs incurred for training and coaching. Organizers said they believe this is a good value given the amount of training time and the 16 games each player will take part in.

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U.S. appeals court overturns conviction in Falls bank robbery

June 24, 2016 8:45 p.m. | A federal appeals court has reversed the conviction of a Milwaukee man serving 25 years for robbery because Wisconsin judges denied him his right to represent himself at his trial.

In its opinion, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals noted that the Wisconsin Supreme Court got the law totally wrong when it upheld a Waukesha County trial judge's order that Rashaad Imani proceed with an attorney he didn't want, after he explicitly asked to act as his own attorney, four weeks before trial.

"That decision was an error. Further, it was contrary to and an unreasonable application of clearly established federal law," Judge David Hamilton wrote for a three-judge panel. The court ordered Imani be released or granted a new trial.

Waukesha County District Attorney Sue Opper said she was exploring a retrial. "If it is possible to still prove the case, we will definitely proceed," she said Friday.

In 2007, Imani, now 38, was found guilty of armed robbery and being a felon with a firearm in the holdup of a Menomonee Falls bank and was sentenced by Circuit Judge Mac Davis to 25 years in prison. Imani's cousin, Raziga Imani, was sentenced to 15 years for his role in the robbery after he agreed to be a prosecution witness in his cousin's trial.

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Marcus to add lounge, pizzeria at Menomonee Falls cinema

June 24, 2016 7:00 a.m. | Marcus Theatres plans to add a Take Five Lounge and a Zaffiro's Express pizzeria to its Menomonee Falls cinema.

The Village Board this week approved a liquor license for the theater, W180 N9393 Premier Lane. That's just southeast of Appleton Ave. and County Line Road 

The cinema's website says the Take Five Lounge and Zaffiro's Express, which operate at five Milwaukee-area locations, will be coming soon to Menomonee Falls. 

Oak Creek baseball team plays small ball to beat Menomonee Falls

June 21, 2016 9:12 p.m. | The storied history of the Oak Creek baseball team is filled with balls sprayed all over the park and epic home runs.

But with a dry, rock-hard infield Tuesday night at Abendschein Park against red-hot defending state champion Menomonee Falls, the Knights played a little small ball and used it to great effect.

The first three batters in both the second and fourth innings got on base without benefit of the ball leaving the infield. The Knights wound up scoring twice in each frame and then rode DJ Ellifson's complete game effort to a pivotal, 5-1 victory.

"I even thought about a safety squeeze late and I'm not a fan of squeezing," said Knights coach Scott Holler, "but I do like to bunt. I saw an opprtunity to keep pushing things and we got a couple of balls down.

"And it was a really fast track tonight (on the infield)."

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Germantown School District could ask for up to $66.5 million in building updates

June 21, 2016 12:55 p.m. | According to Germantown School Board President Bob Soderberg, "We have a lot of needs in the district, a lot of needs."

And, after the June 13 board meeting, the district is moving forward in addressing those needs.

The board finalized a community facilities survey that will be sent out to district residents this month. The survey will measure constituents' willingness to pay for needed school building upgrades.

The final draft of the survey was developed after taking into consideration community concerns about clarifying the specific costs of each item.

The resulting survey describes each of the needed updates to the district's school buildings along with the estimated cost of each.

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Menomonee Falls man accused of inappropriately touching woman with dementia

June 21, 2016 11:50 a.m. | A Menomonee Falls man has been charged with two counts of fourth-degree sexual assault after an alleged inappropriate interaction with a patient at the Menomonee Falls Health Care Center on June 10.

According to the criminal complaint, 73-year-old Earl Wright Sr. allegedly approached the victim, a woman being treated for dementia at the center, as she lay in bed and began to touch her inappropriately.

Linda Warfel, a nurse at the center conducting rounds during that time, said she saw Wright touching the woman, and said he stopped when she walked into the room.

Warfel added that the woman is unable to legally give consent for purposes of sexual contact because of her illness.

Wright Sr. previously pleaded guilty to a similar offense in 2005 in which he was charged with fourth-degree sexual assault. Wright had approached a woman with three children who was waiting for her son after school at Village Park in Menomonee Falls.

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Germantown's Keefe has fun, plays strong at WBCA All-Star game

June 21, 2016 10:06 a.m. | Germantown Now All-Suburban basketball forward Max Keefe chuckled when he said his dad "has a lot of plans" for him, meaning work around the house, etc., this summer.

So Keefe was happy to get out of the house last week and have a good time with his peers as part of the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association D1 All-Star Classic South team at the Justagame Fieldhouse in Wisconsin Dells.

The South team lost a heartbreaker, 85-84, to North on Saturday, June 18, despite 14 points (5-of-7 shooting) from Keefe. He was one of four players in double figures for the South team.

"This was a lot of fun," he said. "We got together on Tuesday (June 14) and stayed in Hartford (where South coach Ben Hoffmann is from). We had some good practices Tuesday and Wednesday, and then Thursday we went up to the Dells.

"I knew almost alll of them, either from playing against them or with them (as part of summer AAU teams). It was a nice group to be around. No one was out just for themselves; we had some real team players. We really didn't have a big all-star out there either — just a lot of good fundamental guys who really got along."

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