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Family Fun Land closing in Germantown

June 09, 2010 2:49 p.m. | Family Fun Land, a children's play and party venue in Germantown, will close July 2, according to an announcement the business sent to customers.

Operator Becky Buzdum said in her email: "As hard as we tried the 19 months we were open, we just did not have the support of the local community we thought we would have."

Family Fun Land, at W189 N 11161 Kleinmann Dr., offers food, games and inflatables for planned family parties or spontaneous visits. The venue doesn't serve alcohol, and Buzdum said in her announcement that she believes she lost business to competing venues with bars.

The Family Fun Land news follows an announcement last winter of financial trouble at Just4Fun in Grafton, a combination funland and daycare business. The facility was in danger of closing, but has remained open under new ownership. Janet Fussell, who owns the Range Line Pre-school in Mequon bought  the Just4Fun. She plans to expand the capacity of the daycare and continues to run the playland too.

Meanwhile, Stonefire Pizza, a huge family dining and play venue with bar service in New Berlin, has filed for protection from creditors under Chapter 11 of the Federal Bankruptcy code.

Westbound I-94 near Miller Park to close for 31 hours beginning Friday night

Dec. 18, 2014 11:57 a.m. | Westbound lanes of Interstate 94 at the stadium interchange near Miller Park will be closed from 11 p.m. Friday until 6 a.m. Sunday for a storm sewer installation.

The state Department of Transportation expects backups during the day Saturday on westbound I-94 between the Marquette and stadium interchanges.

The DOT recommends the following detours:

  • Miller Park Way to National Avenue to Greenfield Avenue
  • US 41 to Bluemound Road to Glenview Avenue to Watertown Plank Road
  • I-894 bypass or I-43 to other regional east/west routes

More information the project, and other projects, is available on the DOT website.

Central wrestlers take control of GMC race with 29-27 win over Falls

Dec. 17, 2014 10:18 p.m. | It pays to have big guys and it pays to have guys who never quit.

The West Allis Central wrestling team had both those things going for it Wednesday night, as it overcame a 24-13 deficit with four matches to go and took a critical 29-27 Greater Metro Conference dual meet win over two-time league champion Menomonee Falls.

"It really pays to never give up and that was important tonight," said Bulldog coach Jon Nelson. "There were so many close matches at the beginning. It was three points here and three points there.

"We were down 24-13, but everybody knows that's just two pins away. We try to teach our big guys not to rely on throws but to take what's in front of them."

With the win, the Bulldogs have now taken care of two major obstacles in their race towards a GMC title. The previous week, they dominated archrival Hale. Meanwhile, Falls fell to 1-1 in league duals.

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Cambridge Major Laboratories plans $20 million expansion

Dec. 16, 2014 10:24 a.m. | Cambridge Major Laboratories Inc., a supplier of pharmaceutical ingredients and manufacturing services, has received an incentive package from state and local governments worth as much as $2 million as part of a more than $20 million expansion of its Germantown facility.

The expansion is expected to create more than 75 jobs during the next three years, according to the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.

WEDC has authorized up to $800,000 in Jobs Tax Credits for Cambridge Major over the next three years. The actual amount of tax credits awarded will depend upon the number of jobs created during that period.

Cambridge Major's expansion will include a new administrative headquarters, as well as additions to its research and development and manufacturing capacity, WEDC said. The expansion is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2015.

"Wisconsin's strong base of research universities and talented workforce, combined with the support of the state of Wisconsin, Washington County and the Village of Germantown, contributed to our decision to make significant additional investments in our active pharmaceutical ingredient operations in Germantown," said Stephan Kutzer, chief executive officer of AAIPharma Services and Cambridge Major.

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GHS Alumni founds prominent student organization at UW-Madison

Dec. 12, 2014 12:01 p.m. | Germantown — Just because it is winter break doesn't mean the work stops for this University of Wisconsin-Madison senior.

Matt Soderberg, Germantown High School Class of 2011, is home for the holidays, but he's not taking a break in the traditional sense of the word. Between working at Johnson Controls and spending hours at the new Starbucks on County Line Road fine-tuning the consulting firm he founded, his calendar is full.

As graduation approaches in May, Soderberg is taking it upon himself to make sure Badger Consulting at UW-Madison carries on long after he walks across the stage to accept his diploma. And for good reason.

What began two years ago as Badger Social Media Marketing has evolved into Badger Consulting, an entirely student-run organization that operates like a real consulting firm.

"We thought it would be better to offer more of a 360-degree approach to what we do, which is basically fixing real-life problems with real solutions for local businesses," explained Soderberg, who founded the organization as a sophomore. "It's been like starting a small business from the ground up."

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Wisconsin's first Pirtek USA location to open in Menomonee Falls

Dec. 11, 2014 3:07 p.m. | Menomonee Falls — An international company specializing in on-site hydraulic hose replacement will soon be servicing the area. Under the supervision of Pirtek USA franchisee Tom Fechter, the first Pirtek franchise in the state is expected to open early next year.

Located near Lilly Road and Bobolink Avenue, about a half-mile north of Silver Spring Drive, technicians from Pirtek will be available to respond to calls all over southeastern Wisconsin.

"A hose failure is a big deal for a lot of local industries," said Fechter, of West Bend. "Crews standing around waiting for a technician or replacement part can be a waste of time and money, so it's our job to make sure things are fixed and production resumes as efficiently as possible."

As a companywide standard, Pirtek responds to calls within an hour and subsequently diagnoses the failure and repairs or replaces the hose within about two hours.

With more than 400 locations in 22 countries, the decision to bring the industry to the Milwaukee area is one Gwyn O'Kane said was pretty easy.

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Newman will not seek third term as Menomonee Falls Village Board president

Dec. 11, 2014 2:46 p.m. | Menomonee Falls — The face of the Menomonee Falls Village Board is set to change again. After two terms as village board president, Randy Newman has opted not to run again in April.

The decision not to pursue re-election to a third term is not a new one for Newman, who said it was always part of his plan to serve two terms.

"I wanted to give back to the village, but the time has come to give back in other ways," said Newman, who has been president since 2009.

Before that he served on the board and other committees for a total of 20 years. A certified public accountant, he is vice president of finance for Community Physicians at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin.

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Menomonee Falls boys get defensive in beating Franklin, 48-30

Dec. 09, 2014 11:53 p.m. | The Menomonee Falls boys basketball team was coming off a flat effort against Watertown last Friday while Franklin was coming off an emotional high after beating 2014 state tourney qualifier Greendale the same night.

The Indians visited the Sabers Tuesday night, and the teams traded places, as Falls used a stifling defense and picked up 27 points in transition to overpower its hosts, 48-30.

"We scored only four points a quarter a couple of times last Friday and that was just not going to get it done," said Falls coach Ben Farley, "so we focused on nailing things down and executing better. We had missed so many shots (against Watertown) so we focused on finishing with confidence."

Meanwhile, Franklin coach Tim Hogan wondered where his team's energy from the other night was.

"We played so hard against Greendale (a one point win)," he said. "I just wish we had displayed a little more of that energy topnight, because there were many moments tonight where we just got outhustlled."

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Momentum Early Learning seeks to open facility in Germantown

Dec. 09, 2014 12:51 p.m. | Germantown — A "new standard in child care" could be making its way to Germantown, as Momentum Early Learning seeks to open a new day care facility within Stonewood Corporate Center.

Located on an almost 3-acre parcel at W175 N11037 Stonewood Drive, the proposed 11,500-square-foot facility would offer child care for up to 140 children between the ages of six weeks and 12 years from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Plans were for the most part well received at the conceptual review of the plan commission on Dec. 8, when commissioners said they look forward to seeing more detailed plans that incorporate traffic management options, landscape buffering and building facade features.

"I can assure you that the architecture will blend in with the other businesses in that park," property owner Jim Marriott explained to the commission. "We want to expand our facilities, and I think Germantown would be a great place to expand to because there is a need for 4-year-old kindergarten and high-end day care in Germantown."

If approved, it would be the second location for Momentum, following the original location that opened five years ago in Sussex.

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Menomonee Falls School District's lobbying efforts likely to conclude in January

Dec. 09, 2014 12:00 p.m. | Menomonee Falls — A final decision on how the district will frame and present their priority list for local lawmakers is expected next month from the Menomonee Falls School Board.

For weeks, the board has been discussing the document that will announce the district's united support for several legislative issues, including the establishment of a sustainable funding system and consistency in mandates and accountability standards from district to district and school to school.

It will be the second time the board presents a document of this kind for consideration. It will feature topics on which the board members agree are most important to the future of the district of Menomonee Falls.

The bulk of the discussion has focused on the state's public education funding formula and the amount of local control given to each district. This is especially important in Menomonee Falls, where the formula as it exists has a negative impact on districts with declining enrollment.

Also under fire are the impact the Consumer Price Index has on the funding formula and how the Fund 80 revenue cap impacts the school district's Community Education and Recreation negatively.

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Community Memorial Hospital seeks approval for major improvements

Dec. 08, 2014 10:01 a.m. | Menomonee Falls — An upgraded emergency room and joint replacement center are among improvements Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin Community Memorial Hospital is looking to make to its Menomonee Falls facility.

On Dec. 15, the village board will review plans for two additions to CMH that would both expand the emergency department and add a two-story Joint Replacement Center to the hospital property.

"The Community Memorial emergency department has seen a significant increase in patient visits over the past few years; the additional space will increase capacity and modernize the department," said Dennis Pollard, president of Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin Community Memorial Hospital and chief operating officer for Froedtert Health.

At an estimated cost of $9 million, the plans seek to add about 4,800 square feet to the emergency department on the hospital's southeast side, renovating the existing space to improve efficiency, increase comfort and better accommodate medical equipment, explained Rita Schuetz, manager of public relations for CMH. Pending approval, construction is scheduled to start in February and completion is slated for later in 2015.

It will likely take a bit longer to complete the 16,450-square-foot joint replacement center, which Schuetz said will provide space on the hospital's northeast side for cost-efficient, comprehensive services and enable the hospital to meet anticipated growth in demand for joint replacement surgeries as the population ages.

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Pilgrim Road reconstruction begins, to be completed next year

Dec. 05, 2014 1:13 p.m. | Menomonee Falls — The dreaded orange construction barrels that have popped up near a prominent intersection in Menomonee Falls will be around a while.

Utility work is now underway on the reconstruction of Pilgrim Road from Park Blvd to Megal Drive, which will incorporate bridge work, additional turn lanes, new medians, a wider intersection and added lanes in some areas.

Slated for completion around this time next year, the project will pick up where work left off the last time the road was under construction in 1999, explained Director of Engineering Tom Hoffman.

"The project was intended to be just a pavement replacement but as additional traffic in the area we needed to look at it from a pavement replacement to what do we need to have here long term to handle the traffic in the area," Hoffman said. "A lot of the intersection of Falls Parkway will be improved out to its ultimate (capacity)."

Improvements to the entryway to Harley-Davidson and Wacker Neuson will also be part of the work being done, including a public cul-de-sac for employees and visitors to the facilities to utilize.

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New Menomonee Falls Toppers location aims to impress

Dec. 05, 2014 9:37 a.m. | Menomonee Falls — There's something even more important to making pizza than the freshly-made dough, sliced ingredients and perfectly-seasoned sauce. At least that's what the general manager of the new Toppers Pizza in Menomonee Falls will tell you.

"We strive to have a community feel ... it's a different kind of environment than other pizza places," said Tina Szejna, who had been with Toppers for two years before coming to the new store in Menomonee Falls. "We care about our pizza, but we also care about each other and get to know our customers."

Brainstorming ways to create that unique customer experience was part of an action-packed agenda the week before the store opening Monday, Dec. 8.

Though the location is looking to hire more crew members, the staff of about a dozen employees went through somewhat of a Toppers Pizza boot camp, learning their way around the "slap" table, sauce and topping stations and the state-of-the art system for tracking deliveries.

"Everything we do is a demonstration of how much we care about our pizza," Szejna said. "We make our dough fresh every morning, so the slap table is where the magic happens, all of our toppings are cut fresh every morning and of course we use 100-percent Wisconsin cheese, so it's pretty delicious."

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United Way agencies in Milwaukee, Waukesha announce merger

Dec. 04, 2014 3:50 p.m. | United Way of Greater Milwaukee and United Way in Waukesha County announced Thursday that they have merged to create a single agency.

The new agency will be known as United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County.

The merger follows a long-standing practice of both groups fundraising in eastern Waukesha County communities, from Menomonee Falls to Brookfield, New Berlin and Muskego.

And it comes at the request of large corporate donors with business operations in the two counties, said Mary Lou Young, president and CEO of the new organization. Young has served five years as president and CEO of United Way of Greater Milwaukee.

Those corporations asked United Way to streamline the process for them, Young said. So in August 2013, Young said she contacted her counterpart in Waukesha County and asked the question: How can we serve our customers better?

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Redevelopment proposal met with contention from Menomonee Falls residents, commission

Dec. 04, 2014 9:20 a.m. | Menomonee Falls — A residential property formerly owned by a prominent historical figure in Menomonee Falls will most likely stay the same.

Requests to amend the comprehensive plan and rezone a one-acre residential lot to commercial to allow an orthodontist office near Main Street and Hoyt Drive were unanimously voted down by the plan commission Dec. 2, after residents and commissioners agreed it is not a good fit for the area.

"I think it's in the middle of a residential area," said Village President Randy Newman, who chairs the plan commission. "I know it's ideal for the guy who wants to be there, but I look at the whole zone to make sure we don't create something new and end up with vacancies in other areas."

Concerns about the effect the change could have on traffic flow, neighboring property values and for the historical integrity of the property were also in question.

Rumored to once have been part of the Underground Railroad, the property was built in 1869 by Dr. William Hoyt, who continued his practice in Menomonee Falls after working as a doctor during the Civil War. The street was named after him several years later.

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Plans for Menomonee Falls Costco under review

Dec. 03, 2014 4:33 p.m. | Menomonee Falls — As early as next fall, bulk shoppers will have another place to stock up on diapers, household items and groceries. That is when Costco Development Manager Ted Johnson said the new Costco store will open its doors.

Anchoring a large mixed-used development planned for a 65-acre area south of Highway 41/45 and west of Pilgrim Road, the new store will boast a 149,000-square-foot store featuring a gas station and parking for more than 720 vehicles.

The plans are currently under review by the village for the store, which will be the third in the area and is expected to employ about 150 people. Proposed store hours are from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday to Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, according to the staff report.

A public hearing relating to the plans will be held at the next plan commission meeting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 6, at Village Hall, W156 N8480 Pilgrim Road.

In addition to Costco, village officials have said a restaurant or two are a possibility within the additional 240,000 square feet of additional planned retail buildings in the area.

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