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Menomonee Falls residents approve levy decrease

Sept. 11, 2012 6:47 a.m. | Residents of the Menomonee Falls School District can expect a lower tax bill as the levy - which includes a 0.4 percent decrease - was approved at the annual meeting Monday night.

About 25 residents approved the total levy of $38,282,890 for the 2012-13 school year. Despite a projected 15 percent decrease in state aid for the 2012-13 school year, the mill rate will be decreased $0.05 per $1,000 of property value. The mill rate will be $11.42 per $1,000.

According to Business Manager Jeff Gross, a property owner with a home valued at $200,000 would see a reduction of $9.17. The property owner would pay $2,285.52.

This is the second year in a row the levy was lowered in the Menomonee Falls School District. For the 2011-12 school year, it was lowered by 1.96 percent.

Total expenditures in the district are down 1 percent. The transition to a self-funded insurance plan and reducing things such as energy and transportation costs helped the district come to a balanced budget and lower levy.

» Read Full Article

Temporary burn ban lifted for Waukesha County, Menomonee Falls

March 25, 2015 11:52 a.m. | Menomonee Falls — The temporary ban of open burning for the Village of Menomonee Falls has been lifted.

The report from the DNR states the Fire Danger in our area is 'low' due to lower temperatures and moisture. The ban was in effect for about a week due to dry conditions and rapidly drying soil, leaf litter and brush.

Residents with a burn permit will be allowed to conduct open burning, although they still are required to adhere to the Menomonee Falls Burning Regulations for the Village.

For information on the Village of Menomonee Falls Burning Regulations go to: http://www.menomonee-falls.org/burning

Washington Ranks among Healthier Counties in Wisconsin's Health Rankings

March 25, 2015 11:37 a.m. | Germantown — Washington County ranks among the healthier counties in the state, according to the annual County Health Rankings released today by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute (UWPHI) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF).

"While we have taken important steps to improve the health of Washington County, there is more we can do to help our residents lead healthier lives," said Joni Whitehouse, Washington County health officer. "As a community, we should continue to focus our efforts on mental health, alcohol and other drugs, communicable and chronic disease, and reducing premature death."

The rankings compare the health of nearly every county in the nation, Whitehouse explained, adding that the local-level data allows each state to see how its counties compare on 30 factors that influence health, including education, housing, violent crime, jobs, diet, and exercise.

"Changing the health of a population takes collaboration, cooperation, and consistency of efforts," Whitehouse said. "We may not see the positive changes that we are working toward for five- to 10 years, but every step we make to improve the health of Washington County is a step in the right direction."

Washington County ranks in the top quarter of the state for health outcomes, health behaviors, clinical care, and social and economic factors.

» Read Full Article

The Sprint Episode Three: WIAA state basketball tournament retrospective

March 23, 2015 6:00 p.m. | The WIAA state basketball tournament featured a number of local entrants, with two bringing home gold balls and another grabbing silver:

Proposed bill would allow Germantown school district to start prior to Sept. 1

March 23, 2015 11:04 a.m. | Germantown — The first day of school could come sooner for Germantown students as early as this fall.

Under a bill proposed by State Representative Jim Ott, Germantown schools would qualify to start school before Labor Day in an effort to allow more time for students to prepare for Advanced Placement exams in the spring.

Districts with AP participation rates above 20 percent would qualify to start prior to Sept. 1 if the bill is approved, which Superintendent Jeff Holmes said could be a benefit to students.

Though the district at its March 9 meeting approved the 2015-16 calendar, Holmes said the board could consider adjusting the start date if the bill becomes a statute.

"Academically, our AP students would be less 'rushed' to get through those materials and having school start a couple of weeks earlier could create more flexibility during the course of the school year to alleviate 'compressed' learning," Holmes said of Germantown, which has a 23 percent participation rate in 2014-15. "In regard to extra- and co-curriculars, 800 of our 1400 students report back for practices and seasons by mid-August - football reports back the first week of August."

Proposed bill would allow Falls school district to start prior to Sept. 1

March 23, 2015 11:04 a.m. | Menomonee Falls — They asked local legislators for more flexibility at the local level when making decisions, and that is what the School District of Menomonee Falls could get if a new State Assembly bill proposing to start school before Labor Day passes.

Increased flexibility was frequently mentioned as the Menomonee Falls School Board discussed their 2015-16 legislative priority list, which they approved and presented to legislators earlier this year.

Under a bill proposed by State Representative Jim Ott, Menomonee Falls schools would qualify to start school before Labor Day in an effort to allow more time for students to prepare for Advanced Placement exams in the spring.

Districts with AP participation rates above 20 percent would qualify to start prior to Sept. 1 if the bill is approved, which district Public Relations reporesentative Mitch Maersch said the school district would definitely support.

"We have been asking our legislators for that ability for a few years," he said.

Germantown manufacturer recognized among best in country

March 23, 2015 11:00 a.m. | Germantown — L.T. Hampel Corp., a plastic manufacturer based in Germantown, Wis., announced today it has been ranked as a Top 10 Industrial Thermoformer among North American thermoformers for 2015.

The Top 10 Industrial Thermoformer Ranking benchmarks companies by key performance metrics based on industrial thermoforming sales. Out of a possible 228 thermoforming companies, Hampel was ranked 10th for industrial thermoforming. The ranking, compiled by Plastics News — a plastics industry publication that covers the business of the global plastics industry — is part of its annual ranking of thermoformers in North America.

"The ranking is something we've been able to achieve because of the promise that we make to our customers and our zeal to deliver upon it," said Paul Lorge, Hampel President. "Behind our customer-centric mission of being a key player in our customers' success, we're committed to saving our customers time, reducing costs, easing burdens, and making better products."

The company specializes in heavy-gauge thermoforming, which includes vacuum forming, pressure forming, and twin-sheet forming. Hampel employs 130 people and operates 10 manufacturing lines at its 200,000 square foot Germantown facility.

Serving a broad mix of customers and OEMs since 1976, Hampel brings tested experience and advanced capabilities to serve today's customers marked by sophisticated capabilities, smart processes, and continuous improvement.

Falls school board to review, approve layoff notices

March 23, 2015 10:52 a.m. | Menomonee Falls — An update on the 2015-16 budget, including the issuance of preliminary layoff notices, is on tap at tonight's meeting of the Menomonee Falls School Board.

The number may ultimately equate to a total reduction of about seven full-time equivalent positions, but Director of Human Resources Christiane Standlee said it doesn't make it any less of a struggle to carry out.

"The preliminary nonrenewal notices are not an indication of job performance but are an unfortunate part of the budget process," Standlee said.

The notices do include requests by employees for a reduction in hours, Standlee explained, as well as nonrenewals for budget reductions and some for employee performance.

As part of the budget process, the district is required by the state to issue preliminary nonrenewal notices by April 30 each year.

» Read Full Article

Germantown school board to get update on facilities plans

March 23, 2015 10:50 a.m. | Germantown — More information about the near future of Rockfield Elementary School could be discussed at tonight's meeting of the Germantown School Board.

The agenda includes an update on what district officials have called a "pressing situation" at the school, including discussion on options for both a permanent addition or temporary usage of four modular classrooms at the school.

An overall lack of space is not a new problem at the school, where staff has already gotten creative with solutions like 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 nothing has come together yet, 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.

The board meets tonight at 7 p.m. at Germantown High School, W180 N11501 River Lane.

Point ends Germantown basketball team's three-year state reign, 67-51

March 21, 2015 11:36 p.m. | It was not exactly an imitation, but it was a tone, a tenor and style of play that the Germantown boys basketball team would recognize that ended the Warhawks three-year reign at the top of the WIAA State D1 basketball world tonight at the Kohl Center in Madison Saturday night.

Simply put, Stevens Point beat the Warhawks at their own game and were bigger, faster and simply better, all mantras of the Warhawk success story of the last three years.

Moving fluidly inside and out, using their height and length to deny Germantown (27-1) the middle and using dramatically effective shooting to overpower any potential rally, the junior-laden Panthers (27-1) were impressive in winning their first state title since 1994, 67-51.

It also broke a streak of 23 consecutive WIAA tournament victories in a row for Germantown and kept the Warhawks from becoming the first D1 program in state history to win four boys basketball titles in a row.

As opposed to the fear that the Warhawks have been instilling in opponents for years, Point wanted to play Germantown in this game because it if was going to win the title, it wanted to do it against the best.

» Read Full Article

Germantown boys basketball team rolls into final with 82-54 rout of East

March 20, 2015 9:12 p.m. | That's more like it.

Playing a style to which its most accustomed to, the Germantown boys basketball came out running and never let up in its WIAA state D1 semifinal against Madison East at the Kohl Center in Madison Friday night, taking a 48-26 halftime lead and cruising to an 82-54 victory.

With the victory, the Warhawks have a chance at becoming the first D1 team in state history to claim four consecutive state titles. They will take on Stevens Point (26-1) at 8:15 p.m. Saturday back at the Kohl Center in that bid.

Only Randolph in D4 has achieved the feat in the 100 years of the state tourney. Earlier in the day on Saturday, D4 power Dominican will also try for its fourth crown in a row.

"We're going to treat it like we do any other game," said coach Steve Showalter. "It's our most important game because its the game that's in front of us and that's how we'll prepare.

» Read Full Article

Falls-based Bradley Corporation recieves nod for wellness efforts

March 20, 2015 10:32 a.m. | Menomonee Falls — A locally-based commercial fixtures company has earned attention from the state for its efforts with employee wellness.

The Wellness Council of America, with local affiliate Wellness Council of Wisconsin (WELCOA), recently presented Bradley Corporation with its Well Workplace Award for its efforts and commitment to its employees' overall health and wellbeing.

Through earning the Well Workplace Award, Bradley has made a long-lasting commitment to the health and well being of its employees.

Over the past three years, Bradley launched a number of wellness initiatives such as offering special discounts on exercise classes and wearable fitness tracker technologies, and providing reductions in health insurance premiums for improvement in physical fitness.

Bradley also added a part-time on-site health coach to help guide people to more healthful habits, and offers fruit and other healthy snacks at its facilities.

No one hurt in overnight car fire in Menomonee Falls

March 20, 2015 10:22 a.m. | Menomonee Falls — There was smoke and fire, but no one was hurt in a car fire that happened shortly after 1 a.m. March 20.

The Menomonee Falls Fire Department responded to a car fire in an underground garage at the apartments on White Oak Circle and were met with light smoke on the first floor, according to Assistant Fire Chief James Mollet.

The crews determined smoke was coming from the basement and garage areae, where they found a car fire and quickly extinguished it, Mollet said.

Due to the heating and ventilation system in the building the smoke traveled throughout the building, displacing residents, they were relocated to other apartments units.

There was no suspected foul play.

Falls Village Board President candidates say they each would bring different experience to the role

March 19, 2015 2:08 p.m. | Menomonee Falls — They both agree that capital improvement projects like road maintenance should be a priority in the village. They both see a continued focus on maintaining balanced development. And they both have active histories in Menomonee Falls. Where the two candidates for Menomonee Falls Village Board President differ is in what they feel they would bring to the role.

On Tuesday, April 7, village board trustees Joseph Helm and Steve Raymonds will face off for the role of village president, which is being vacated by Randy Newman.

While they share a passion for making decisions with taxpayers in mind, they both pointed to each other's different backgrounds as setting them apart for the position, which is a three-year term and is paid $7,500 annually.

Here is what they had to say about the village's issues in the past, successes in the present and goals for the future:

How do you feel the village needs to move forward with development in a way that ensures a balance between residential, commercial and industry in the village?

» Read Full Article

Costco purchases 15 acres to build new Menomonee Falls store

March 19, 2015 12:10 p.m. | Menomonee Falls — Three months after the village board approved plans for the 149,000-square-foot members-only shopping center, Costco Wholesale Corp. has purchased 15 acres of land along Highway 41/45.

The sale was announced March 18 by Milwaukee-based developer Cobalt Partners. Scott Yauck, Cobalt Partners president and CEO, could not be immediately reached for comment.

The new store will anchor the 65-acre Whitestone Station redevelopment, which village officials have said could include a restaurant or two within the additional 240,000 square feet of additional planned retail buildings in the area.

Construction is also underway on about 320 luxury apartments planned for 11 acres north of Roosevelt Drive and south of an extension of Falls Parkway. The $45 million project will be developed over two years and include a mix of studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units with monthly rents ranging from $900 to $1,600.

The first phase of the plans include the construction of a clubhouse and pool area that feature a sun deck, grilling area and club room with kitchenette and fitness area.

» Read Full Article

Kohl's Innovation Center in Menomonee Falls almost complete

March 18, 2015 7:46 p.m. | Menomonee Falls — The effort to convert a former manufacturing warehouse into office space on the Kohl's corporate campus is nearly complete.

Construction is expected to finish by June on the former 300,000-square-foot InnoWare warehouse, which Kohl's public relations specialist Julia Fennelly said will bring together more than 1,500 Kohl's associates from several areas of business.

Sometime this month, employees are expected to begin occupying what will be known as the Kohl's Innovation Center, which features work space and space for group meetings and events.

"We are excited about the progress underway in enhancing Kohl's corporate campus in Menomonee Falls, which will allow us to bring our corporate associates together, create a best-in-class working environment and facilitate our growth in the future," Fennelly said.

Though in 2013 the company announced it would not be constructing a new headquarters in the Woodland Prime development on the east side of the village, they are well underway with other efforts to expand locally.

» Read Full Article

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