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Fire in Falls destroys barn, semitrailer

Dec. 05, 2012 10:24 a.m. | A fire that erupted Tuesday afternoon, destroying a barn, is still under investigation after crews worked into the early morning Wednesday to extinguish the blaze.

The fire at W220 N9110 Town Line Road was reported at 3:38 p.m. About 17 communities responded to the fire that destroyed the main barn on the property, as well as a semitrailer parked next to it. A home also received minor damage.

One firefighter was sent to Community Memorial Hospital with minor injuries from back strain, said Menomonee Falls Fire Department Chief Jeffrey Hevey. No other injuries were reported and the injured firefighter was released from the hospital Tuesday night.

At the time the fire broke out, there were more than 25 horses in the barn and all were removed safely.

It took hours to put out the fire as water had to be trucked to the property in a dozen water tenders because there aren't fire hydrants in the area. Water tenders hold between 2,000 and 3,500 gallons of water.

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Germantown schools finalize balanced budget

1:19 p.m. | Germantown — Property taxpayers in the Germantown School District may pay less than anticipated for the 2014-15 budget than what was approved at the annual meeting in September. As a result of primarily a higher equalized value in the village and an increase of almost 16 percent in state aid over what the district anticipated, the final impact to taxpayers will not result in the 1.9 percent increase that was approved at the annual meeting in September.

Instead, the equalized tax rate will be $9.49 per $1,000 of equalized property value, a decrease of 3.55 percent from $9.84 in 2013-14. The levy itself is up three tenths of a percent, to about $28.28 million. About $603,000 in additional state aid than what was projected, as well as an increased equalized value up 4 percent over last year account for the change, Director of Business and Auxiliary Services Ric Ericksen explained.

However, due to the village-wide eassessment in 2014, Ericksen reminded the board that property taxes are calculated based on assessed rather than equalized value, which he said will utimately impact the final numbers for homeowners.

"It remains to be seen a little bit what the final impact is on the average home," he explained. "I think in the end when folks get their December bills, for the average person it's going to be flat."

The board approved the final budget at its Oct. 27 meeting in a ??-1 vote, with board member Bruce Warnimont voting 'no.'

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Global Precision Industries moves to Menomonee Falls

11:35 a.m. | Global Precision Industries Inc., a design and engineering firm, moved into new facilities to accommodate "several years of double-digit growth," but will keep its main operations in southeastern Wisconsin.

Global Precision said it takes a classic Milwaukee trade — tool-and-die makers — and turned it into a sort of virtual company that handles all the engineering, testing and prototyping, but then farms out production to contract manufacturers in the U.S. and abroad.

The privately held firm said it would relocate from cramped offices in Germantown to a new building in Menomonee Falls, which it is expanding with facilities for rapid prototyping, testing, warehousing and design.

Current staffing is seven, but the company plans to add engineers and production workers over the next few quarters. Global Precision sees growth potential in clean energy, medical and aerospace industries.

Chief Executive Gale Pence founded the privately held company in his house in 2003 after his former employer, a Milwaukee-based tool-and-die shop, went out of business.

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Former West Allis strip club owner sentenced to prison for perjury

Oct. 29, 2014 1:04 p.m. | A former owner of a West Allis strip club was sentenced Wednesday to 18 months in prison for lying under oath about drunken sexual debauchery he engaged in at the club, conduct later confirmed by a surveillance video that led to charges of sexual assault.

Dino LaLicata, 35, of Menomonee Falls was acquitted by a jury of the sexual assault charges but convicted of felony perjury. During a sworn deposition in a civil case before the discovery of the video, he had denied even being at Crazy Horse Gentleman's Club on the night in June 2010 that a young woman said he had assaulted her after plying her with drinks.

The prosecutor urged a maximum sentence of three years in prison, plus three years of extended supervision and a $10,000 fine, saying LaLicata had not only lied, but also got others to lie for him, including at a secret John Doe hearing.

"As perjury goes, I don't think the court will ever see anything bigger than this," Assistant Attorney General Miriam Falk said. She urged the judge to consider LaLicata's conduct at the club, and during the three years he tried to suppress the truth, even though he was acquitted of the assault charges.

Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Daniel Konkol began his remarks by saying LaLicata was not being sentenced for sexual assault, serving alcohol to minors or marital infidelity. But the judge stressed that perjury itself merited prison.

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Large beer garden planned for Germantown

Oct. 28, 2014 1:50 p.m. | The owner of Old Town Inn and Von Rothenburg Bier Stube on Main St. in Germantown is planning an elaborate beer garden behind the businesses that would include a clock tower, pavilion, children's play area and more.

Chaz Hastings, who also owns the Milwaukee Harley-Davidson dealership and other pubs including Tally Ho in Erin, envisions the million-dollar project on 5 acres as a destination for visitors.

"We hope to draw from all over," besides offering a gathering place for the community, he said. 

Germantown Village President Dean Wolter said the project could be the impetus for planning Main St.'s development and could lay the groundwork for Germantown's downtown as a summerlong destination, much like Cedarburg's. 

The project is inspired by Munich's Hofbräuhaus biergarten, Hastings said, and its primary beer would be Hofbräu, the German lager. Besides the pavilion and clock tower, the project calls for a tavern and a brat house where customers could buy drink and food to consume at picnic tables. 

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First Bank taking nominations for Holi-Days of Giving

Oct. 28, 2014 11:09 a.m. | Menomonee Falls — First Bank Financial Centres of Menomonee Falls and Germantown are spreading good cheer this year with its "Holi-Days of Giving" initiative. Throughout December, the banks will help wishes come true by delivering $500 checks to 12 nonprofits and gifts, valued up to $500, to 12 families or individuals.

Anyone can nominate a local charity or someone they feel deserves a little holiday magic.

Nominations can be made now through Friday, Nov. 14 by visiting any of the bank's 12 locations or online at FBFCWI.com/holidays.

In December, each First Bank Financial Centre branch, including the Menomonee Falls and Germantown locations, will grant an individual wish and donate $500 to an area nonprofit.

Taxes to go down for Falls school district residents

Oct. 27, 2014 8:31 p.m. | Menomonee Falls — Property taxpayers in the School District of Menomonee Falls will pay less money for more than what was anticipated out of the 2014-15 budget. As a result of primarily a higher equalized value in the village and an unanticipated increase of 12 percent in state aid, the final impact to taxpayers will not be flat as it was approved at the annual meeting in September.

Instead, the tax rate will be $11.53 per $1,000 of equalized property value, a decrease of 6.65% from last year's $12.35. The levy itself is also down 1.06 percent, to $38.65 million. Almost $1 million in additional state aid than what was projected, as well as an increased equalized property value up almost 6 percent over last year account for the change, Director of Business Services Jeff Gross explained.

The result could have been a levy decrease of 2.58 percent, to a levy of $38.06 million, but Gross suggested it could be in the best interest of the district to keep the levy amount closer to what was originally approved by the taxpayers, and use the difference to pay down debt from the 2007 referendum for the high school.

"Basically (the taxpayers) get a bonus for the same dollar amount," explained school board member Scott Ternes. "They get a bonus on the tax savings, like being able to pay down a mortgage faster than we would have at the annual meeting." About $115,000 in interest costs over the next decade or so will be avoided as a result of the board's Oct. 27 vote to approve the revised budget.

"Everyone always talks about managing the school district budget like you do your personal budget," said board member David Noshay. "Any financial person would tell you to pay yourself first; pay down your credit cards. That's what we are doing."

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Republican Party of Waukesha County calling for election observers

Oct. 27, 2014 1:56 p.m. | Menomonee Falls — The Republican Party of Wisconsin is in need of election observers on Nov. 4.

Election observers use an application that can be downloaded to a smartphone or I-pad. The process is easy to understand and makes monitoring elections effective. To learn about becoming an election observer, contact Lane Ruhland at (608) 257-4765 or email her at lruhland@wisgop.org.

Volunteers can also learn more by visiting a local Republican Party of Wisconsin Field office. In Waukesha, the Field Office is located at 1701 Pearl Street, Unit 5; in Kenosha at 3203 Washington Rd.; in Madison at 5609 Medical Circle #101; in Racine at 6100 Washington Ave. #E2; in Jefferson County at 1724 S. Church; and in Greenfield at 4811 S. 76th St. #110. For a list of all field offices, visit www.wisgop.org/field-office.

For more information on the Republican Women of Waukesha County please visit www.rwwcwaukesha.com or on Facebook.

Suburban roundup: Week one of the WIAA football postseason

Oct. 27, 2014 9:22 a.m. | Blowouts, nailbiters, rising stars and a mud bowl mashup. Such is the story of the kickoff weekend of the WIAA football playoffs.

A roundup of our coverage:

-Initial Reaction podcast: Examining week one matchups.

-Mukwonago duked it out against Hartford in a muddy march of the old-school, smashmouth gameplan, winning 29-6.

-Turnovers spelled the end of Sussex Hamilton's playoff hopes. The Chargers lost 23-16 to Waunakee.

» Read Full Article

Menomonee Falls boys soccer team earns first state tourney berth

Oct. 25, 2014 11:20 p.m. | Breakthrough!

And the funny thing for the first-time WIAA State Tournament qualifying Menomonee Falls boys soccer team, it wasn't supposed to be this year.

It could have been any one of a half-dozen groups who over the last 10 years or so have turned the Indians from an also ran in state soccer circles into a major player.

But the glass ceiling of tough sectional opponents from Brookfield and Wauwatosa always got in the way, with Falls losing in the sectional finals three different times.

Falls head coach Scott Stein had been at the helm for all three of those frustrating games and his assistant A.D. Gonzales had played in two of them.

» Read Full Article

Germantown football team advances with easy win over Brookfield Central

Oct. 24, 2014 11:44 p.m. | Welcome to the North Shore Conference Invitational.

That's what the WIAA D2 southeast area football playoff bracket has turned into, as Homestead, Whitefish Bay, Cedarburg and Germantown all recorded easy wins in Level 1 action Friday night.

Germantown (9-1) did its part, overcoming a slow start to slowly overwhelm Brookfield Central at Datka Field, 37-18.

The Warhawks trailed 3-0 in the first quarter but then ran off 30 unanswered points in earning the victory. They will now host Cedarburg (8-2), which they defeated 48-31 earlier this season, next Friday, Oct. 31 in a level II contest.

The other semifinal in this bracket involves Bay (7-3) visiting Homestead. The winners will meet in Level 3.

» Read Full Article

Menomonee Falls stunned by Milwaukee King

Oct. 24, 2014 11:24 p.m. | There aren't too many times when a team needs to make just two big plays to win a state playoff football game.

That was enough for Milwaukee King, however, on Oct. 24, as the Generals from the much-maligned City Conference stunned host Menomonee Falls in a WIAA Division 1 playoff game at Schumman Stadium, 14-0.

"They were very well coached," Menomonee Falls coach John Baker said of the Generals. "Congratulations to them."

Both of the big plays came from senior wide receiver/defensive back Keyonte Sherrod.

The fifth-seeded Generals (10-0), the champions of the City, advance to face their biggest test of the season, a Level 2 game against perennial state powerhouse Arrowhead. It was King's first playoff victory since 1996 after 13 consecutive losses; the Generals are now 2-16 all-time in the state playoffs.

» Read Full Article

Preps football photos of the week: Level 1

Oct. 24, 2014 10:50 p.m. | The fight for a championship trophy started Oct. 24 as Level 1 of the WIAA playoffs kicked off.

Now Newspapers and Lake Country Publications compiled the best photos shared on social media featuring teams from our coverage area, predominantly in Milwaukee and Waukesha counties.

Here's the best sights and sounds from Level 1.

Falls soccer team advances to WIAA sectional final with 2-0 win

Oct. 23, 2014 10:09 p.m. | The history of the Menomonee Falls boys soccer team over the last 15 years or so has been a very good one with consistent winning teams and all-state level players.

But the Indians are lacking that one crucial grace note for their resume', a WIAA State Tournament berth.

Falls, with its 14 seniors celebrated in a plastic cup display on the back fence of the Indians' field, will seek to make amends for that, as it advanced to a WIAA sectional final with a 2-0 victory over previously unbeaten Sheboygan North Thursday night.

The Indians (17-3-3) will challenge area rival Sussex Hamilton (12-6-5) in that game at 7 p.m. Saturday at Germantown. The two sides played to a 0-0 tie in Greater Metro Conference play on Oct. 7.

"They (the Chargers) got the better of play in that one and we were lucky to come out of the game with a tie," said veteran Indian coach Scott Stein. "We'll see if we can correct that."

» Read Full Article

GFD is "delivering fire prevention" tonight

Oct. 23, 2014 3:41 p.m. | Germantown — This evening the Germantown Fire Department will be "delivering fire prevention" to eight lucky residents among those who registered during the last month.

In collaboration with Safe Kids Southeast Wisconsin and Domino's Pizza, members of the fire department will be stopping by residences with their fire truck to see if they have a fire escape plan and working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

After the visit, the participating families will receive a coupon for a free one topping pizza. If the families do not have working smoke / carbon monoxide detectors they will be provided with one.

Menomonee Falls Radisson Hotel is officially under new ownership

Oct. 23, 2014 3:01 p.m. | Menomonee Falls — The Radisson Hotel is operating under new ownership today, after the $8.5 million sale of the property closed Wednesday, Oct. 22.

Offers on the property ranged from $7.7 to $8.985 million, according to attorney Randy Crocker of von Briesen & Roper SC who previously called the purchase and sale agreement with Izabella Investments LLC is "in the (village's) best interest considering the circumstances."

The investment group will retain the Radisson name for the hotel, which will now be managed by Hostmark Hospitality Group.

Future plans for the hotel involve an investment of $500,000 primarily in improvements to the showers inside the guest rooms as well as to the meeting room and restaurant area. The group also plans to offer 95 percent of the employees an opportunity to stay with the company.

Though the village is still owed about $14 million from Lodging Investors, the balance that remains will be refinanced with funds from tax-incremental financing district No. 6.

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