Police issue alert for counterfeit bills

Feb. 28, 2012 11:02 a.m. | The Menomonee Falls Police Department issued a warning to businesses and residents about a rash of counterfeit $100 bills that began circulating in October and November 2011.

In a news release, the department said the bills were "washed" $5 bills. Washing is where the actors remove the ink from a legitimate $5 bill and use a laser printer to make the bill appear to be a $100 bill. Although there haven't been any recent incidents in Menomonee Falls, other jurisdictions in the metro Milwaukee area have been experiencing these counterfeit bills again.

The release went on to state that all $100 bills should be inspected, but the "marker test" is not a valid for these counterfeit bills because the actors are using real bills. The easiest way to confirm a bill is legitimate is to hold it up to a light source and make sure the watermark matches the face that is printed on the bill. This also works for $5, $10 and $50 bills.

For more information, visit the U.S. Secret Service website: www.secretservice.gov/KnowYourMoneyApril08.pdf.

GT boys finish unbeaten regular season, down stubborn HHS, 79-71

Feb. 23, 2012 10:48 p.m. | The important initial goals have all been ticked off the list for the Germantown boys basketball team.

Unbeaten regular season at 22-0.

Unbeaten North Shore Conference title 14-0.

Fifth North Shore title in six years.

It was also another game to be played, to be enjoyed, to be savored.

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Pay raises for Waukesha County officials stumble

Feb. 23, 2012 11:24 a.m. | Waukesha - A day after the Personnel Committee recommended higher pay for the next elected Waukesha County clerk, treasurer and register of deeds, the Finance Committee Wednesday failed to endorse the measure on a tie vote.

The County Board will take up the pay ordinance at its meeting 7 p.m. Tuesday at the courthouse.

The proposal would increase the pay for each of the three constitutional officers by 1.5% each year of the next four-year term beginning in 2013. If the pay is to be changed, the County Board must do so before April 15, when candidates for those offices can begin circulating nomination papers for the November election.

The ordinance calls for pay starting at $70,180 a year for the clerk and treasurer, increasing to $71,232 in 2014, $72,300 in 2015 and $73,384 in 2016.

For the register of deeds, pay next year would be $71,125 and increase to $72,191 in 2014, $73,273 in 2015 and $74,372 in 2016.

Waukesha County panel endorses pay raises

Feb. 21, 2012 3:38 p.m. | Waukesha - The Waukesha County Board's Personnel Committee unanimously endorsed pay raises Tuesday ranging from 1.5% to 2% for two former union groups and three elected officials.

The County Board will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday to consider the measures.

Pay raises of 1.5% in each of the next four years, beginning in 2013, were recommended for the county clerk, register of deeds and treasurer. Beginning April 15, when prospective candidates for those offices can begin circulating nomination papers for the fall election, no action on pay raises can be taken during the course of their four-year terms.

If approved, the pay in 2013 would start at $70,180 for the county clerk and treasurer and $71,125 for the register of deeds and would increase to $73,384 and $74,372, respectively, by 2016.

The committee also recommended pay raises in 2012 of 2% for about 425 clerical, paraprofessional, maintenance and sanitarian workers previously represented by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. In addition, raises of 1.6% retroactive for 2011 and 2% for 2012 were recommended for about 160 corrections officers and dispatch center employees. The unions have been decertified in the wake of last year's state law changes that eliminated most collective bargaining for most public employees.

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Village Board suggests police chief lead new Protective Service Department

Feb. 21, 2012 9:42 a.m. | Menomonee Falls — A new administrator in Menomonee Falls will oversee both the Fire and Police Departments. The position, as head of the Consolidated Protective Services Department, will allow the two safety departments to keep their autonomy, but also share resources when necessary.

The Menomonee Falls Police has a full-time staff many times larger than the Fire Department, a mostly part-time operation. Under the suggestion of the Village Manager, the Police Chief would head the Department and would have the power to do things not already explicitly outlined in state statutes.

“The idea is to provide an administrative synergy,” explained Village Attorney Michael Morse, adding that the new Department head would have the power to discipline staff if necessary, but wouldn’t deal with the day to day operations of the other department. As part of the ordinance, the new administrator could be the Fire Chief or the Police Chief, but not both.

Trustee Sharon Ellis wanted to emphasize that this was not an effort to combine service departments, a reference to concerns Village Manager Mark Fitzgerald later explicitly attempted to address.

“I look first at structures and systems and then the people in those structures and systems,” Fitzgerald explained. “We will not have firefighters doing police work.”

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Residents warned of jury duty phone scam

Feb. 20, 2012 5:02 p.m. | A new phone scam has hit states across the country and its effectiveness is in its simplicity. It's a scam that could fool anyone. No Nigerian princes or closing costs to pay on your miracle inheritance, just a call any of us could get: jury duty.

People are receiving calls saying they have missed jury duty and a warrant has been issued for their arrest. In order to clear it up, the scammer asks for personal information to process.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is aware of these scams and has been investigating what they call a recent resurgence in these jury-related scams. Federal officials say, as a rule, court officers never ask for confidential information over the phone; they generally correspond with prospective jurors via mail.

Germantown Police Chief Peter Hoell says no such scams have been reported in Germantown, but suggested people in the area call police if they're contacted with such a scam.

"They should call the court of their jurisdiction," Hoell suggests, adding that asking the caller for a name and number to call back could just send a potential victim to a second person involved in the scam.

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'Sugar high' leads to call to Germantown police

Feb. 20, 2012 3:21 p.m. | A 68-year-old woman called Germantown police to report her 12-year-old granddaughter purchased $87 worth of candy and was acting out of control at a residence in the W171 N10600 block of Aspen Lane at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 17.

According to the Germantown police report:

Officers spoke to the girl and determined she had purchased the candy from the Dollar Tree using money she had taken from her grandfather's house.

Officers turned the candy over to the grandmother who said she would address the problem with the child's mother.

Senior night special for GT as Hawks clinch share of NSC title

Feb. 16, 2012 10:27 p.m. | Two alleged tough guys met at center court during the Germantown boys' basketball team's senior night ceremonies before the Warhawks' 90-54 North Shore Conference title-clinching win over Nicolet.

They hugged for a long time as the cheers grew louder and then they cried, making the moment perfect.

"That was a tough one," said Warhawks' coach Steve Showalter of greeting his son Zak, the last of nine seniors introduced this evening. "I didn't think he would cry because he's so tough too, but I knew I would."

"But when he lost it first, I couldn't help it (and he lost it too). I didn't want to let go either, because when one of us would let go, it would be a sign that it was all ending for us (all the basketball they shared over the last four years)."

"There's been a lot of ball played here the last few years."

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Audit cites weaknesses in Waukesha County clerk operations

Feb. 16, 2012 4:42 p.m. | Waukesha - A number of weaknesses were found in Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus' office operations, according to a newly released audit report, including the failure to return about $27,000 in dog license fees owed municipalities that has accumulated over several years.

In response to the audit, Nickolaus said she's already instituted a number of recommended changes.

The county's internal audit manager, Lori Schubert, and Nickolaus will discuss the findings at the County Board's Executive Committee meeting at 9 a.m. Monday.

None of the nine recommendations contained in the audit report was ranked as most critical in importance, but nearly all were described as having a significant impact on efficiency and effectiveness.

The audit did not examine most of Nickolaus' election systems and duties, which were audited in the fall of 2010. In April, Nickolaus' failure to count 14,000 votes from Brookfield in unofficial election night returns - or to tell the public about it for nearly two days - temporarily tipped the apparent Supreme Court election outcome and led to a costly and time-consuming statewide recount.

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Menomonee Falls, Pewaukee sites chosen for Parade of Homes

Feb. 15, 2012 11:50 a.m. | The Quail Haven subdivision in Menomonee Falls and Still River subdivision in Pewaukee will be the sites for the 2012 Metropolitan Builders Association's Parade of Homes.

Each site at this year's Parade of Homes, which takes place from Aug. 18 to Sept. 9, will have newly built homes featuring the latest design and decorating trends, the association said Wednesday.

More than 30,000 visitors are expected to tour the homes of the course of the three-week event, the association said.

Homebuilders at Quail Haven include: Allan Builders LLC, Aspen Homes Inc., Belman Homes Inc., Demlang Builders Inc., Embassy Construction Corp. J. Anthony Homes & Designs LLC and Zach Building Co.

Home builders at Still River include: Halen Homes LLC, Kaerek Homes Inc., Kings Way Homes LLC, Korndoerfer Homes, Regency Builders Inc. and Tim O'Brien Homes.

Columbia St. Mary's opens urgent care clinic in Germantown

Feb. 14, 2012 2:34 p.m. | Columbia St. Mary's Health System has opened an urgent care clinic within its clinic in Germantown.

The Express Care clinic, N112-W15415 Mequon Road, is open seven days a week and staffed by physicians and nurse practitioners.

Columbia St. Mary's also has urgent care clinics in Grafton, downtown Milwaukee, Sheboygan and Glendale.

Latest proposal for Falls High School would roll back start times, add early release

Feb. 14, 2012 11:15 a.m. | Staff with the Menomonee Falls School District have brought yet another proposal to the board for a 2012-13 school year calendar.

After a host of previous suggested schedules were met with opposition both from staff and the community, Human Resources Director Christiane Standlee says this latest proposal manages to accommodate everyone’s goals.

This plan, which will likely be up for approval at the Feb. 27 meeting, would roll back start times just 10 minutes for high-school students and will include an early release on Wednesdays to accommodate professional development. On Wednesdays, class would start at 7:50 a.m., but end at 1:55 p.m. instead of the usual 3:05. Standlee says the instructional time over the course of the year will remain at the required levels and extra time in case of a snow day is already built in.

Initially, it appeared Falls would significantly push back start times at the high school, returning to the old 7:20 a.m. start time in order to prevent athletes and students involved in extra-curriculars to missing class time at the end of the school day.

There was also momentum behind a suggestion to follow a model in place at some area schools where students who missed class would have a special block of time to meet with teachers to make up work. Students who hadn’t missed class wouldn’t have to be at school until after that block.

Charger girls close in on first league title, edge Falls, 56-51, in OT

Feb. 10, 2012 10:21 p.m. | It's never been done at Sussex Hamilton for the girls basketball team, but the Chargers took a major step towards their first conference title ever when they forced archrival Menomonee Falls into 26 turnovers and survived a 56-51 overtime thriller Friday night.

"This was very important," said junior guard Rachel Elliott, who had a key steal at the end of regulation and two thefts in the first minutes of the overtime session, including one she cashed in for a lay-up to give Hamilton a four-point lead that they never relinquished.

"We want to keep our spot (tied atop the Greater Metro Conference standings), because we're very excited to have this chance (at a title). It's a lot of fun to be chasing after it right now."

With the win, the Chargers (9-2 in league play and 13-3 overall) stayed tied with DSHA for the GMC lead. The Dashers (9-2, 13-4) were 66-42 winners over West Allis Central tonight.

Falls (8-3, 15-4), which had to play without starting point guard Amber Bullock for almost all of the second half due to a face injury, is seeking its first league title since 1999.

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Homestead hangs on to beat Tokoto, Falls, 71-69, in OT

Feb. 07, 2012 10:52 p.m. | With about a minute to go in overtime Tuesday night, a fan on the Menomonee Falls side of the Homestead Fieldhouse rubbed his hands eagerly and said:

'It's a man's game now, no little kids allowed!"

And that thought was the correct one this evening, as in a high-profile nonconference boys basketball game with WIAA sectional seeding implications, Homestead got two free throws with 5.5 seconds to go from guard LaMonte' Bearden to pull off a thrilling, 71-69 overtime decision over the Indians.

In doing so, the Highlanders improved to 16-2 overall whiile Falls, which had won five in a row and eight of its last 11 (nine of 11 without a forfeit), fell to 9-8.

A game like this late in the season is just all part of the plan, according to Highlander coach Marquis Hines.

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2 charged after marijuana arrest in Germantown

Feb. 06, 2012 4:58 p.m. | A 28-year-old Hartford man thought he was talking to a potential customer last month when he told a police informant that he would be driving to Wisconsin from California after Jan. 29 with marijuana, according to a criminal complaint.

Benjamin M. Thimm of Hartford later confirmed in a Facebook message to the informant that he would have two pounds of marijuana to sell, according to the complaint filed Monday in Washington County Circuit Court.

Washington County sheriff's deputies and the county's drug enforcement unit were waiting for Thimm and an accomplice early Saturday. Authorities seized 11 pounds of marijuana with an estimated street sales value of more than $40,000 following a traffic stop in Germantown, Sheriff's Lt. Paul Buth said.

About 12:22 a.m. Saturday, deputies stopped two vehicles northbound on US Highway 41/45, north of Lannon Road. Thimm was the driver of one vehicle.

Walter A. Schafer Jr. of Covina, Calif., was driving the second vehicle, which Thimm had rented in California.

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Superintendent's pep talk helps boost Falls past DSHA, 48-34

Feb. 03, 2012 10:09 p.m. | Menomonee Falls Superintendent Dr. Pat Greco gave a thumb's up, a smile and said "Great!" as she walked across the gym floor Friday night following the Indian girls' basketball team's season-saving 48-34 victory over Greater Metro rival DSHA.

She had just been asked how she felt, which turned out to be an important question.

Dr. Greco was headed towards the team lockerroom to give a follow-up to the little speech she gave to the squad at 5:30 p.m. that had helped inspire the critical Falls' win.

"I wanted her to receive the team award for the night," said Indian coach Craig Amundson. "....I really want to give her a lot of credit for doing that. She had been diagnosed in the fall with breast cancer and had just returned to work a few weeks ago."

"I wanted her to give a pep talk about mental toughness. A talk about toughness in life as opposed to 32 minutes of basketball."

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Appliance World stores won't reopen

Feb. 02, 2012 6:24 p.m. | Appliance World confirmed today that it is permanently closing its three area locations in Brookfield, Greenfield and Germantown.

One of the area's most recognizable retail stores, the appliance retailer locked its doors Sunday and told its employees the company's future and ownership was in doubt, though it had left open the possibility the stores could reopen under new management and ownership.

But in a statement issued through My In-House Agency today to media outlets, owner Ed Aumann set aside any hope.

"The economic conditions of the past several years have been too much to overcome," Aumann said in the news release. "I would like to thank all of our customers and employees for their support and patronage over the past half century."

Aumann said Appliance World, in business in Southeastern Wisconsin for more than 56 years, closed at behest of its secured lender, GE Capital Solutions. Assets have been surrendered to the bank.

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School bus rear-ended; one student suffers minor injuries

Feb. 02, 2012 12:30 p.m. | A school bus was rear-ended this morning, and one student was taken to the hospital with minor injuries. The accident happened on Good Hope Road on the way to Menomonee Falls High School.

All other students on the bus arrived at school about 20 minutes late.

According to a news release, the bus was stopped at the intersection at Flint Drive when it was rear-ended by a car whose driver reportedly thought the bus was going to move through the intersection on the yellow light.

Menomonee Falls School District officials said there was minor damage to the bus and one student was taken to Community Memorial Hospital with minor injuries.

High School Principal Dr. Gary Kiltz met with the students to make sure they were doing well physically and emotionally after the accident.

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