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Falls Board decides to not have February primary election

Jan. 10, 2014 10:28 a.m. | The Menomonee Falls Village Board on Thursday unanimously voted to not have a primary election Feb. 18 for Seats No. 1 and No. 2, opting instead to put all the candidates on the April 1 ballot.

The board opted to only have an April election in an effort to save money, according to village officials.

There are three seats open on the Village Board. Michael McDonald, Katie Kress and Chris Rolenc are in the running for Seat No. one. This seat is currently held by Sharon Ellis, who did not file for re-election.

Kevel Anderson, Timothy Newman and Christopher Smolik are running for Seat No. 2. This seat is currently vacant as it was held by James Jeskewitz, who passed away in November. Joseph Helm was the only person to file for Seat No. three, which currently belongs to Dennis Farrell. Farrell did not file candidacy.

The cost of a primary election was estimated to be $30,000, according to Menomonee Falls Village Manager Mark Fitzgerald. The board, he said, decided they don't want to pay that cost, and instead opted to put everyone's name on the April first ballot.

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Two die in crash in Sussex

1:23 p.m. | Two people died in a single-vehicle crash on June 30 in the village of Sussex.

At approximately 11:40 p.m. June 30, the Waukesha County Sheriff's Department along with the Sussex Fire Department, responded to a single-vehicle crash on Maple Avenue at Donna Drive in the village of Sussex.

The first arriving deputy found a severely damaged car occupied by two unresponsive adults. EMS personnel arrived and began life saving measures. The 28-year-old Menomonee Falls woman and the 24-year-old Burlington man succumbed to their injuries and were pronounced dead on scene.

The initial investigation indicates the car was northbound on Maple Avenue and lost control on the wet pavement south of Donna Drive. The car crossed the southbound lane, left the roadway and struck a very large 4-foot-high tree stump. Speed appears to be a factor.

This crash remains under investigation by the Waukesha County Sheriff's Department.

2016 Fourth of July events in the Milwaukee suburbs

1:20 p.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 baseball team sweeps final three GMC opponents

1:19 p.m. | In the mind of veteran Menomonee Falls baseball coach Pat Hansen, leadership looks a little like what happened during the Indians 8-2 win over Greater Metro Conference opponent Brookfield East on June 30.

"Ty (Weber) showed up in the second inning, and with no batting practice or anything like that, hits a double in his first at bat," Hansen said. "He gets out of the car after a four-hour car ride (from the University of Illinois) and hits three balls to the warning track (including the double, a triple and a long fly out)."

The rest of the Falls team followed the university scholarship, MLB draft choice and all-state star of the 2015 WIAA state champions example.

"After he doubled, Jerin (Frey) doubled him home and we just kept hitting from there," said Hansen.

The inspirational win was part of a three-game sweep of Falls' final three Greater Metro Conference regular season opponents. They also survived a harrowing 9-8, nine-inning decision over Brookfield Central on June 27 and beat Tosa East, 4-2, on June 28.

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FBI raids Menomonee Falls home

12:30 p.m. | The FBI executed a federal warrant at a home on Marshall Drive and Menomonee River Parkway from 6 to 9 a.m. Friday, July 1. Members of the Bureau's Child Exploitation Task Force were executing the warrant.

The scene was cleared after three hours. According to the FBI, if evidence was seized, it will be processed, and public filings will be made over the weekend.

This was the second FBI raid in Waukesha County in two days. Agents spent five hours seizing items from a house in the city of Waukesha on Thursday. According to an FBI spokeswoman, the two raids are not connected, but both incidents did involve the Child Exploitation Task Force.

The task force handles all matters related to distribution and possession of child pornography, and also matters involving juvenile prostitution and trafficking. Members of the task force were made up of the Milwaukee Police Department, West Allis Police Department, Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office, Sheboygan County Sheriff's Office, Racine Police and other community departments.

Many neighbors who spoke about the Menomonee Falls raid indicated the people whose home was raided kept to themselves, but they have at least one infant and are new to the neighborhood.

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Germantown All-Sub choice Szada was key to sixth NSC title

11:54 a.m. | Germantown Now All-Suburban softball outfielder Carly Szada hits the ball so well that sometimes even when she's batting around .500, a spectacular number for anyone, Warhawks' co-coach Kurt Raguse thinks she's slumping a little.

"I mean, when she's hot, she's really hot, she can go on long streaks," said Raguse. "She hit .543 in conference, but I'd like to see her be a little more consistent.  That's just how good of a player she is.

"Our Energizer Bunny (laughs)."

So good, said Raguse, that she narrowly missed out in the voting for North Shore Player of the Year.

The junior Szada helped lead the senior-dominated Warhawks to a 20-9 overall record and their sixth straight North Shore Conference title.

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Germantown School Board hires Michael Nowak as new human resources director

10:38 a.m. | The Germantown School District Board of Education unanimously approved a new contract for a human resources director at its meeting Thursday, June 30.

Michael Nowak, who graduated from Marian University in 2002 with a master of arts, educational leadership, was offered the new contract with an annual salary of $118,000.

Nowak previously was the principal at Franklin High School from 2012 until the end of this school year. Prior to that, he also served at Waukesha South High School as principal, and assistant principal at Waukesha North High School.

According to a presentation Nowak gave, he believes effective communication, empowering others to promote risk-taking and shared ownership and problem-solving in a trustworthy courteous manner as key ideas when fostering an ideal HR environment.

Nowak aims to have a student-centered focus and holds high expectations from all students, according to a handout based off his presentation.

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

June 29, 2016 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.

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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