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Alert employee helps police arrest two sets of thieves

Oct. 09, 2012 11:54 a.m. | Germantown - An observant employee at L.T. Hampel helped police catch three thieves at a neighboring business between 11:15 p.m. and Oct. 1 and 4 a.m. Oct. 2.

According to Germantown police:

An employee at L.T. Hampel called police to report he heard the sound of glass breaking shortly after a suspicious vehicle drove into the parking lot at Systems Inc., W194 N11481 McCormick Drive, at 11:15 p.m. Oct. 1. The business is located just south of L.T. Hampel and was closed for the evening.

Officers arrived on the scene and arrested a 56-year-old man and a 46-year-old man for theft from a vehicle.

The same employee called police again at 4 a.m. Oct. 2 to report another suspicious vehicle in the parking lot behind Systems Inc. The caller stated the vehicle, a silver minivan, left the parking lot after a short amount of time and turned eastbound onto Edison Drive.

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Germantown approves one-year contract with Accurate Appraisal despite misconduct findings

1:51 p.m. | Germantown — The assessment firm that employs a man found by the Wisconsin Department of Revenue to be out of compliance with state law will see at least another year working with the village of Germantown.

The board in a 7-2 vote on Nov. 16 approved a one-year, $44,500 contract with Accurate Appraisal, the village's appraisal company since it split from Grota Appraisals in 2009.

Though the contract length is generally three years, Trustee Art Zabel moved to have the board approve what he called a "probationary" year before committing to a longer term.

"The understanding is we will not pay them until they come into compliance with the state," Zabel explained, referring to an active DOR investigation and review of James Danielson of Accurate Appraisal.

Accurate Appraisal did not return a call seeking comment, but Danielson earlier this year agreed to relinquish his state certification voluntarily after the DOR said it had enough information to file charges that could result in complete revocation.

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New face out front, same old Germantown boys basketball team

1:45 p.m. | Times change, people come and go but the Germantown boys basketball team will remain largely the same entertaining freight-train that it has been for the last decade.

This despite the fact that face of the program and larger-than-life coach Steve Showalter is now an assistant coach with NCAA Division II Lindenwood (Missouri), where much to his chagrin, he is being made to wear ties to games (yes, that's true).

Mark Adams, long the face of the powerhouse Brookfield Central program and for the past season or so, Showalter's top assistant, is taking over head coaching duties on an interim basis while Germantown continues its search for a new long-term coach.

Adams, whose team opened the season against Central on Tuesday, Dec. 1, and which will open North Shore Conference action at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4, at Nicolet, does not intend to rock the boat on a wildly successful program that went 27-1 last year, losing only to Stevens Point in the WIAA Division 1 state finals.

He will build around three key pieces off that team, including 2015 all-state selection 6-foot-1 senior guard Juwan McCloud, who has been recruited by Northern Iowa. Also back is 6-foot-6 senior forward Max Keefe, who is coming off an all-state season in volleyball, and 6-foot-5 senior post Conner Edmonds.

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Initial Reaction Podcast: Would it be OK to see state-football games played other than in Madison?

12:13 p.m. | The guys take a last look back at state-championship football and agree that the title games could stand to move elsewhere, out of Camp Randall in Madison. Plus, a look at where the bright spots might be in the overall Wisconsin sports malaise and JP gets a little bit of time to talk Iowa football.

Positive and uplifting stories in suburban Milwaukee and Lake Country in November

11:00 a.m. | Sometimes you're just looking for a little positivity.

And we hope to deliver that to you with a roundup of positive and uplifting stories from suburban Milwaukee and the Lake Country area. The following stories were published in the past month, and they feature stories that could warm your heart as the holiday season hits its stride.

Menomonee Falls students honored for helping elderly neighbor who was pinned under her vehicle


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Tough-minded Menomonee Falls boys basketball team wins first two games

10:23 a.m. | It's not easy being in a leadership position for the Menomonee Falls boys basketball team.

Senior forwards Ty Weber (knee) and Matt Emmer (shoulder) will probably not play this winter for the Indians due to lingering injuries from football, but the two remain positive influences for the Indians as co-captains.

The influence of the two key members of the 2015 state champion Falls baseball team has rubbed off as the undersized but overachieving Indians opened the season with wins over Fond du lac and West Bend West last week.

"They're still part of the team," said Falls coach Ben Farley. "They're at every practice and every game, and they are helping ... we're missing two big athletic bodies, but it does create other opportunities."

The Indians were fortunate that another senior co-captain that got hurt during the football season, 6-0 point guard Bryce McMurtry, has recovered from a shoulder injury and is off to a good start.

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Menomonee Falls girls basketball team finishes second in own tournament

9:49 a.m. | The busy early slate for the Menomonee Falls girls basketball team finally included its first win of the season, a 48-32 decision over Port Washington in the Indians' own "Blessings in a Backpack" tournament on Nov. 27.

Falls couldn't quite come away with the title in the event as they fell to Muskego, 49-44, in the championship game on Nov. 28.

The split left the Indians at 1-3 on the still young season. They will open Greater Metro Conference play at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4, at home against Brookfield Central (2-1).

In the final of the tournament, the Indians fell behind 19-14 in a sluggish first half. They found their bearings offensively in the second half but couldn't quite overhaul the Warriors. Madison Grzesiak led the way for the Indians with 13 points, while Marissa Igunbor had 12 and Karly Volz six.

Muskego had 10 players reach the scoreboard led by Sarah Anderson with 13. Falls could have helped itself with better free-throw shooting as the Indians downed only 16 of 32 for the tilts. Grzesiak hit three 3-pointers in the contest.

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Updated rankings of area prep boys and girls basketball teams and players

Menomonee Falls High School alumna bikes 15,000 miles for charity

Nov. 30, 2015 11:10 a.m. | Menomonee Falls — They have had a close encounter with a grizzly bear. They have met the first man to have cycled across six continents. They have shared an RV for a night with a Latvian documentary star and seven-time biathlon champion. They have stayed up all night sharing stories and playing poker at a mushroom-picking camp.

And they are only about 2,000 miles into their 15,000-mile bicycle journey from Anchorage, Alaska, to Ushuaia, Argentina.

Menomonee Falls alumni Megan Wycklendt and her Scottish friend, Gordon Dunlop, recently crossed the United States border on their bike trip to raise awareness and money for poverty alleviation.

"We both share a passion for travel, adventure, embracing foreign cultures and supporting causes for positive change in the world," said Wycklendt, who met Dunlop in 2011 while volunteering with a local Peruvian NGO, Pisco Sin Fronteras.

The duo planned the journey mostly via Skype for three years, before departing from Alaska in August. When asked for the "why" behind the trip, Wycklendt asked "why not?"

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Three to be added to Menomonee Falls High School Wall of Recognition

Nov. 30, 2015 10:56 a.m. | Menomonee Falls — An accomplished doctor and two chief executive officers will join the ranks on the Wall of Recognition at Menomonee Falls High School this year.

A sincere sense of giving back in a variety of ways is the common denominator that has earned William Domann, Jr., Tom Gross and Jacquelyn Marie (McLees) Paykel a place on the Wall of Recognition, according to creator Dick Woosencraft.

"I know all of this year's inductees personally, and they are all very special people," said Woosencraft, who created the Wall of Recognition, Fine Arts Hall of Fame and Athletic Hall of Fame in his final year as principal at the high school.

Now in its 12th year, the wall features alumni who have accomplished powerful things since they walked the school halls.

The public is invited to attend as this year's inductees are honored at halftime during the boys varsity basketball game Friday, Dec. 11, at the school, W142N8101 Merrimac Drive. There will also be a reception following the game in the school media center.

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Germantown High School Key Club supports cause for ending world hunger, obesity

Nov. 30, 2015 10:17 a.m. | Germantown — When Germantown High School junior Emily Li was a child, she would spend summers in Harbin, China, with her extended family. While she fondly remembers these times, they carry with them a startling memory Li said will stay with her always.

"Harbin is a particularly large city in the north, well-known for being the industrial capital of the nation, along with its staggering number of urban poor," she said. "Every couple of meters on a busy road, there would be homeless without limbs, with children or collapsed from exhaustion."

Li said she was always told to look away, to avert her eyes and look at another stretch of sidewalk.

"It's almost a reflex now," she said.

But that's all about to change.

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Getting to know Dennis Farrell

Nov. 24, 2015 1:03 p.m. | Menomonee Falls — He came for what he and his wife thought would be the best care they could find for their son with autism.

Now almost 50 years later, former longtime trustee and founder of the Menomonee Falls Neighborhood Watch Dennis Farrell said he stayed in Menomonee Falls for a very simple reason: it feels like family.

We sat down with Farrell recently to discuss his years of service to the village and get to know the man behind what has developed into a nationally recognized Neighborhood Watch program a little better.

Why did you choose to live/work in Menomonee Falls?

One of the main reasons we moved here is that we have an autistic son and we knew the care and education he would have here would be better than anything else we were. It was the early days of special education, but there was a program Menomonee Falls Center for Children with Learning Problems. Most people called it Waters' school because it was run by Phyllis Waters. We came to like the village atmosphere; the whole friendliness of the village and a community that people want to help and give information and be part of something.

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Scion Dental awarded the management of 650,000 through Maryland Healthy Smiles program

Nov. 24, 2015 12:48 p.m. | Menomonee Falls — Rapid growth in 2015 has helped a Menomonee Falls-based dental benefit management company earn national recognition.

Scion Dental announced earlier this month that it has been awarded a contract by the State of Maryland's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) to manage dental benefits for the roughly 650,000 Medicaid members in the Maryland Healthy Smiles Dental Program (Maryland Healthy Smiles).

Once the contract becomes active in January, Scion Dental will be managing benefits for more than 10 million covered across Medicaid, Medicare and commercial payer programs in more than 65 markets.

One of three dental benefit management organizations competing for the contract, Scion Dental was selected as a result of having both the highest technical scores and the lowest bid, according to a news release.

"Managing Medicaid benefits is very different from managing commercial benefits," said John Schaak, president of Scion Dental. "It requires a very specific level of knowledge and a very particular set of skills."

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Germantown girls basketball team will build around Schmitz

Nov. 24, 2015 12:37 p.m. | Consider the situation for two-time North Shore Conference champion Germantown girls basketball coach Matt Stuve.

The game is now 36 minutes long as opposed to 32, 2015 Now Player of the Year and WBCA All-State selection Taylor Higginbotham is tearing it up for Western Illinois University (56 combined points in her first three games) while her running mate Val Meissner is starting for Lake Superior State, and overall numbers because of specialization are not what they should be.

But he still has 5-foot-10 junior guard Kenzie Schmitz and that is a very good thing, indeed.

"It's sort of like Aaron Rodgers having sat behind Brett Favre," said Stuve of the relationship between Schmitz and Higginbotham. "Then he turned into quite a player. Kenzie now has the chance to step out of the shadow. Her fall workouts have been tremendous, she's benching 170 pounds and squatting 320 and the kid can really get off the ground."

Indeed, as Schmitz was a state-level sprinter and jumper for the powerhouse Warhawk girls track team this past spring.

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Menomonee Falls girls basketball team getting more experience every day

Nov. 23, 2015 10:19 p.m. | Like the new 18-minute halves and 36-minute games everyone in prep hoops is dealing with this season, veteran Menomonee Falls girls basketball coach Craig Amundson is not going to go into serious critical assessment of his team just yet, despite a competitive 0-2 start to the season.

"It's definitely different (of the new playing format)," he said, "but I'm a physics guy. I don't want to evaluate things after just a game or two."

The vastly-more-experienced Indians lost tough decisions to Catholic Memorial, 68-58, on Nov. 17 and then a 67-63 overtime game to Milwaukee Riverside on Nov. 21.

But the challenging start did give Amundson a hint of what it'll be like to work with this team that is far more experienced than it was a year ago but that is still young (most of the team is made up of juniors and sophomores).

Top returnees include 5-7 junior guard Madison Grzesiak (10.8 ppg. last season) and 5-8 junior guard Marissa Igunbor (11.5 ppg.). Other key experienced hands include 5-6 sophomore guard Lexi Boram, 5-7 junior guard Karly Volz (6.6), 5-10 junior forward Alyssa Marks and 6-0 forward Jessica Boerner.

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Transit service may drop bus loop to Germantown Industrial Park

Nov. 23, 2015 3:38 p.m. | The Milwaukee County Transit System would end bus service to the Germantown Industrial Park south of Freistadt Road in December due to low ridership, under a proposal to be reviewed next month by the County Board's transportation committee.

Route 61 buses travel an 8-mile loop from the Germantown Walmart on Appleton Ave. into the Industrial Park 12 times a day on weekdays to serve shift changes at manufacturing employers.

No more than seven riders a day take advantage of the industrial park service, MCTS Managing Director Dan Boehm said in a report to the transportation committee.

MCTS started Route 61 service in Milwaukee, Waukesha and Washington counties on Jan. 18 as one way for residents of the north side of Milwaukee to commute to jobs in Menomonee Falls and Germantown.

Ridership along the remaining route — generally from N. 34th St. and W. Capitol Drive to the Walmart north of County Line Road — has steadily increased to 700 passengers a day, according to Boehm.

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