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Menomonee Falls Plan Commission approves commercial bakery

Feb. 06, 2013 1:08 p.m. | A commercial bakery moved a step closer to construction on Tuesday after the Menomonee Falls Plan Commission approved a new facility proposed for the Westbrook Business Park.

The 22,047-square-foot building on the west side of Westbrook would serve as headquarters for the company. It would handle the administrative, baking, warehousing and distribution for the company that was not identified in village documents.

"They need a much larger space so it's a great opportunity to come to our community and a great opportunity for us to embrace a new business," said Village Trustee and member of the Plan Commission Mike McDonald. He did not know the name of the business.

He did say plans call for the bakery to have a small retail area in the front of the building, though much of the business will be for wholesale.

McDonald said the company has plans to grow rapidly within the next few years. According to village documents, there are currently 29 employees working on one shift; however, they plan to grow to accommodate 100 employees across multiple shifts within three years.

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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."

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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.

Amy Belle Elementary School Receives Award

Oct. 23, 2014 10:02 a.m. | Germantown — A Germantown school has received a high honor from State Superintendent Tony Evers.

In a special ceremony on Monday, Oct. 13, Evers offered congratulations to Germantown School District's Amy Belle Elementary School for being among 173 schools in the state that received Wisconsin Title I School of Recognition honors for the 2014-15 school year.

"These schools are examples of the success we need in all of our schools to close the achievement gap," Evers said.

During the program, special recognition went to seven high-achieving schools and 29 high-progress schools, which included Amy Belle Elementary.

"Germantown School District's constituents can certainly be proud of the progress attained at Amy Belle Elementary and I can assure you that our Board, staff, parents, and students work diligently to make this sort of academic progress indicative of our entire organization," said Superintendent Jeff Holmes.

Orphaned Griebel children adopted by aunt, uncle

Oct. 22, 2014 2:36 p.m. | Germantown — Words could not explain the sense of relief and joy that washed over Rebecca Sickler as her family grew from a family of four to a family of nine on Friday, Oct. 17.

That is when a judge granted the adoption of the five Griebel children, who were orphaned in April after their parents, Josh and Monica Griebel, died when their car left the road on Highway 164 north of County Road Q. The couple was pronounced dead at the scene, leaving their children, who are between 16 months and 13 years old, behind with no will.

The ruling brings more of the same for the children, as their aunt and uncle, Rebecca and her husband Dave, have been caring for them since the morning of the accident.

"From the moment we heard the news, it was a no-brainer to me that we would care for them," Sickler said, adding that the children were incredibly close with her daughter DaVecca, 8, and son Rave, 6. "That's why it was natural when we came that morning and they said 'I just knew you would come in and take care of us.'"

Unfortunately, it wasn't quite that easy, as a complicated custody battle ensued as family members disagreed on what was best for the children. Though other options involved splitting them up, Sickler said that was simply never an option to them.

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U.S. Department of Labor fines local company more than $130,000 for violations, endangering employee

Oct. 22, 2014 11:44 a.m. | Menomonee Falls — A local company is facing more than $130,000 in fines after the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) found the company guilty of willful, repeat safety violations following fires at its facility.

An inspection conducted in May after a complaint regarding three separate fires at Quest Specialty Coatings has resulted in the issuance of eight safety violations, according to a news release from the U.S. Department of Labor. Dawn Vellmer, who is the director of environmental health and safety for Quest, said the company is in the process of reviewing the citations and its options for addressing them.

"We intend to point out to OSHA why we disagree with the citations and utilize the process available for that purpose," she said. "We take safety seriously at Quest and we regularly review opportunities for improvement."

Many of the violations were cited under the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration Process Safety Management Standards, which contain specific requirements for managing highly hazardous chemicals in work processes. OSHA cited one willful, two repeat and five serious safety violations at the aerosol paint and coatings manufacturer, for total proposed penalties of $132,800.

"Quest Specialty Coatings has a responsibility to ensure the safe operation of its plant by making sure employees are trained in the hazards of manufacturing paints," said Chris Zortman, OSHA's area director in Milwaukee. "Workers should not be put at risk because this company failed to implement required protections."

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Award-winning filmmaker to air film locally on Oct. 29

Oct. 22, 2014 10:50 a.m. | Menomonee Falls — Author and Filmmaker Genevieve Davis will make personal appearances with her work at 30 public libraries in Wisconsin during October and November.

Her tour hits Menomonee Falls at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 29 at Menomonee Falls Public Library, W156 N8436 Pilgrim Road.

She will be screening her critically acclaimed, award winning film, "Secret Life, Secret Death," and leading a Q & A session afterward. The film has played in theaters and festivals from Chicago to LA, and London to Rome and has garnered much critical acclaim along the way.

The screenings is free and open to the public, and Davis will be signing books and DVDs as well.

To see the movie trailer, clips and reviews, or to purchase the books and DVD, or to read excerpts please visit

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Poll: Which area team will win a state football title?

Oct. 22, 2014 9:00 a.m. | This week is when championship seasons title runs are started. Level 1 of the 2014 WIAA Football Playoffs start Friday.

But we want to know which, if any, of the area local teams will win a title in Divisions 1, 2 and 3. Answer on our polls.

Last year Arrowhead beat Franklin in Division 1, and Greendale lost in Division 3 championship games.



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Commercial development will be allowed at Falls gateway intersection

Oct. 21, 2014 8:26 a.m. | Menomonee Falls — Revisions to the long-term vision of a gateway to the village continue, after the Menomonee Falls Village Board approved a another update to the plans for the Main Street Cooridor.

The board unanimously approved the plan commission's recommendation to amend the comprehensive land-use plan to accommodate commercial uses for land on the north side of Main Street and Pilgrim Road.

The change could allow Kwik Trip's proposed plans for that corner to progress, though those plans have yet to be reviewed in detail by village officials.

Milwaukee man charged in armed robbery at Falls Associated Bank

Oct. 21, 2014 8:18 a.m. | Menomonee Falls — A 47-year-old Milwaukee man has been charged with armed robbery and evading an officer in connection to an armed robbery at Associated Bank on Tuesday, Oct. 15.

Charges were filed Wednesday, Oct. 16 against Michael Haynes, who allegedly robbed Associated Bank, N88 W16554 Main Street, at 4:18 p.m. Shortly thereafter, Haynes and 32-year-old Milwaukee woman Patricia Amann fled in a vehicle eastbound on Main Street, where Menomonee Falls police began chasing them, according to a news release.

The pursuit continued eastbound into Milwaukee, where the suspects vehicle was found crashed near Fond du Lac Avenue and 107th Street, according to the release. Both suspects were taken into custody by police, but Amann was subsequently released with no charges.

No further information is available as investigation of the incident is ongoing.

Germantown board requests more information on fire department referendum

Oct. 20, 2014 10:22 p.m. | Germantown — The fate of a referendum to make the Germantown Fire Department full time is still unknown, after the village board voted to postpone a decision on whether to include it on the April ballot.

A general sense of hesitation directed the board's lengthy discussion on the matter Monday, Oct. 20, when they voted 5-3 to allow Fire Chief Gary Weiss to do additional research before returning to the board again, most likely at the next board meeting.

"The answer is not no," said Village President Dean Wolter, who voted in favor of delaying work specific to the wording of a possible referendum question. "It's give me more information."

Preparation of alternative options was one of several pieces of additional information Wolter said he thinks the board should have before authorizing the preparation of a referendum question, which could call for an estimated $1 million of additional recurring revenue to make the department full time.

The plan would bring the number of full-time staff to 16 employees who would man the department 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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Germantown village officials to consider fire department referendum tonight

Oct. 20, 2014 12:58 p.m. | Germantown — The fate of a proposed referendum to make the Germantown Fire Department full-time lies in the hands of the Germantown Village Board, who meet tonight to discuss the proposal.

The board at 7 p.m. will review the plans, which call for an estimated $1 million of additional recurring revenue to make the department full-time. The plan would bring the number of full-time staff to 16 employees who would man the department 24 hours a day, seven days a week

While the numbers are not finalized, the estimated impact on a property owner paying taxes in Germantown would be about 41 cents per $1,000 of value, or about $102.50 for the owner of a $250,000 home.

The department operates with four full-time and four part-time employees, as well as a paid-on-call staff of people who respond to calls when the station isn't manned. Its annual budget is about $1.83 million, which includes a costly fire hydrant rental charge from the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District of about $521,000.

There is no one in the department after 6 p.m. Monday to Thursday. Without the referendum, Fire Chief Gary Weiss said the department's budget for 2015 will as of April no longer cover the four employees who work the weekends, which means it could be unmanned for additional time between 6 p.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Monday.

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Menomonee Falls board to review land-use amendment

Oct. 20, 2014 11:18 a.m. | Menomonee Falls — Revisions to the long-term vision of a gateway to the village continue to be reviewed by the Menomonee Falls Village Board at tonight's meeting.

The board tonight will review the plan commission's recommendation to amend the comprehensive land-use plan to accommodate commercial uses for land on the north side of Main Street and Pilgrim Road.

The change could allow Kwik Trip's proposed plans for that corner to progress, though those plans have yet to be reviewed in detail by village officials.

The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. at Village Hall, W156 N8480 Pilgrim Road.

Across Wisconsin, uneven property assessments fly in the face of fairness

Oct. 19, 2014 9:55 a.m. | A Milwaukee Journal Sentinel investigation found inappropriate reductions in property assessments creating an unfair system. In dozens of communities across Wisconsin, 20% or more of taxes are being paid by the wrong people.

Marquette ends Menomonee Falls' dream of GMC football title

Oct. 17, 2014 10:54 p.m. | With a non-existent passing attack, a highly suspect punt game, and a red-hot opponent playing at home, the odds were long against Menomonee Falls earning a share of its first Greater Metro Conference title in 10 years Friday night against powerhouse Marquette

But there the Indians were at Hart Park midway through the third quarter, with a first down at the Marquette 18-yard line, a tie score of 21-all, an opportunity to go ahead and a chance at history.

However, it was not to be. The Indians stalled on that drive when the field goal was missed and three series later, Hilltopper receiver Jake Matkovich made a spectacular catch and run of a Charlie Greif deep post pattern.

Matkovich turned his body around and snagged the ball in a clean, fluid motion. Then he turned upfield for a 77-yard TD to make it 28-21 Marquette with 7:20 to go.

The Indians, who lost top offensive lineman Matt Henningsen to a leg injury a couple of series earlier, could not recover as the Hilltoppers would go on to win the outright league title with a 30-21 decision.

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