Services set for parents of 5 killed in Washington County crash

April 29, 2014 9:48 a.m. | Services will be held Thursday for Monica and Joshua Griebel, the Colgate couple who died in a crash near their home Friday, leaving five children ages 16 months to 13 years.

The couple died early Friday on Highway 164 just north of Highway Q in Richfield, not far from their home. The couple's car was northbound when it crossed the center line, entered a ditch, hit a culvert, went airborne and hit a utility pole before landing upside down, the Washington County Sheriff's Department said.

Joshua Griebel, 37, was thrown from the vehicle, and his wife Monica, 38, was pinned inside. Both were dead at the scene.

Joshua Griebel was a 1994 graduate of Germantown High School. He was the owner of Griebel's Upholstery in Germantown. Monica Griebel had a degree in international relations and volunteered at her children's school.

Joint services begin with visitation from 4 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday at CrossWay Church, W156-N10041 Pilgrim Road, Germantown. A memorial service for close family and friends begins at 8 p.m.

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Fund established for 5 children of couple killed in crash

April 28, 2014 9:27 p.m. | Fundraising efforts are underway to benefit five Washington County children whose parents were killed in an early morning car crash near their Colgate home early Friday.

At the prompting of donors, the family of Joshua and Monica Griebel of Colgate have established the Griebel Family Memorial Fund at BMO Harris Bank, W156-N11150 Pilgrim Road in Germantown. Also, friends are in the process of planning a fundraiser for May 31 at Sterling Chalet, 1271 Highway 175 in Hubertus.

The Griebels left five children between the ages of 13 and 1 when they died. The Washington County Sheriff's Department is continuing to investigate the crash on Highway 164 just north of Highway Q in Richfield. The couple's car was northbound around 2:30 a.m. when it crossed the center line, entered a ditch, hit a culvert, went airborne and hit a utility pole before landing upside down, according to the sheriff's department.

Barewood Furniture in Germantown is closing doors

April 28, 2014 2:09 p.m. | Barewood Furniture, a wood furniture store that has been open for 30 years, will close for good on June 30.

The shop, W188 N10707 Maple Rd., Germantown, will hold a going-out-of-business sale through June.

Barewood owners Joyce and Skip DeGrande, are retiring, Joyce DeGrande said. The couple first opened their store in 1983 near Highway 100 and Hampton Ave., moved soon after that to Brookfield and ultimately settled on W. Greenfield Avenue in New Berlin. They opened the Germantown shop about 10 years ago, operating two stores for a few years before closing the New Berlin location.

The business has been known for selling American-made furniture, and for the usual presence in the store of the DeGrandes' golden retriever, Matilda.

Colgate couple killed in crash leave behind 5 kids

April 26, 2014 11:02 a.m. | The Washington County couple killed in an early morning crash Friday left behind five children ranging in age from 16 months to 13.

The couple was identified by a family member as Joshua Griebel, 37, and his wife, Monica, 38, of Colgate. They died about 2:30 a.m. Friday in a single-car crash not far from their home on Highway 164 just north of Highway Q in Richfield.

The children were being cared for Saturday by family members. Germantown School Superintendent Jeff Holmes said four of the five children attend his district and that officials there would make counselors and social workers available to students — who have been on spring break — when they return Monday.

"It is certainly a tragedy," said Holmes. "But Germantown is a very strong community, and it is very good about taking care of its own in situations like this."

The Griebels attended CrossWay Church in Germantown.

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2 killed after vehicle goes airborne in Washington County

April 25, 2014 10:01 a.m. | Two people were killed when a car crashed into a utility pole early Friday in Richfield.

The vehicle was traveling north on Highway 164 just north of County Q about 2:30 a.m. when it crossed the center line, entered a ditch, hit a culvert, went airborne and hit a utility pole before landing upside down, according to the Washington County Sheriff's Office.

A 37-year-old man was thrown from the vehicle, while a 38-year-old woman was pinned inside. Both were pronounced dead at the scene. Authorities said they do not yet know which person was driving at the time of the accident.

No other vehicles are believed to have been involved in the accident, which remains under investigation by the sheriff's department and its crash reconstruction team.

The crash closed Highway 164 north of County Q for about seven hours early Friday.

Communities net $1.2 million rebate from Waukesha County recycling

April 21, 2014 1:14 p.m. | Waukesha County residents recycled enough waste containers and paper in 2013 to cover an entire football field to a depth of 22 feet, about the height of a two-story building.

The recyclables were collected by 25 municipalities, and they will split more than $1.2 million from sales of the material to help offset their costs of the service, county solid waste supervisor Rebecca Mattano said Monday. Waukesha County has paid out more than $12.1 million to the municipalities since 2001.

The 25 communities spent $3 million to collect and haul plastics, glass, metal and paper in 2013, so the county payments will cover a little more than one-third of the total costs, according to Dale Shaver, director of the county Parks and Land Use Department.

"That's true tax relief," Shaver said. A dozen other municipalities do not participate in the county program.

The City of Waukesha, the county's most populous community, will get a check in the amount of $297,518 for its share of the revenue. The City of Brookfield will receive $212,634.

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FedEx moving forward with big Menomonee Falls development

April 21, 2014 7:00 a.m. |

FedEx Ground Package System Inc. is proceeding with plans to build a large distribution center in Menomonee Falls that would have over 450 employees.
FedEx would develop the 202,950-square-foot building on 30 acres on the south side of County Line Road, west of Held Drive, according to a village report. Most of the building would be used as a distribution center, with 8,625 square feet set aside for offices.
At full capacity, the proposed facility would have 466 employees, including 74 office employees, the report said. It said 205 of the center's employees would be full time, and the facility would operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The village Architectural Control Board is to review the proposal at its Tuesday meeting.
The plans first surfaced in November on the website of Joliet, Ill.-based Carlson Construction, which was seeking subcontractor bids for the $16 million project. A FedEx spokesman said last fall that the Menomonee Falls facility "is not a definite project."
Moon Township, Pa.-based FedEx Ground, a division of FedEx Corp., provides small-package ground delivery services.
That segment includes FedEx SmartPost Inc., which specializes in the consolidation and delivery of high volumes of low-weight, less time-sensitive business-to-consumer packages using the U.S. Postal Service.
FedEx Smart Post this year moved its headquarters from New Berlin to an office building at at 17950 W. Corporate Drive, in Brookfield Lakes Corporate Center. FedEx Smart Post continues to uses its New Berlin facility, at 16555 W. Rogers Drive, as a package processing center.

Germantown police warn man for brandishing switchblade at stop light

April 15, 2014 3:15 p.m. | A motorist called 911 to report that a man got out of his vehicle and brandished an unopened switchblade knife while at the stop light April 8.

According to the Germantown police report:

The motorist called 911 to report that a man driving a tan 2001 Pontiac Bonneville got out of his vehicle and brandished an unopened switchblade knife while at the stop light on the Highway 41 off-ramp at County Line Road about 12:55 p.m. April 8.

The vehicle was described as having a sticker on the rear trunk lid that stated "Veteran with PTSD, please pass or stand back."

Police found the man, who admitted to the incident, and he was warned about his actions.

Falls to begin short-term fix of Menomonee Avenue

April 15, 2014 2:20 p.m. | Menomonee Avenue is getting a much-needed face-lift. Work is expected to begin in late May on the stretch of road between Appleton Avenue and Town Hall Road.

At an estimated cost of $199,879, the work will remove the rough spots and resurface the stretch of road that former village trustee Sharon Ellis called "horrendous."

It's an effort Village Manager Mark Fitzgerald called a "five-year Band-Aid," as village officials plan to continue seeking state assistance to completely overhaul the road by 2018.

"We've been putting off doing anything on Menomonee Avenue because we wanted to redo some of the subsurface work," explained Village Board President Randy Newman. "This is not rebuilding the whole road, which was the intention, but it will remove all the patches and dips and all the other problems so we can have a good road surface at least through 2018."

That is when Fitzgerald is hopeful the state will approve what will be the third request for help funding the project, which is estimated to cost more than $3 million when the time comes. If funding is approved, the project cost will be split 80/20 between the state and the village.

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ChemWorks plan called objectionable by Falls commission

April 14, 2014 6:31 p.m. | Menomonee Falls — The Plan Commission earned a standing ovation from those in attendance Wednesday, April 9, after voting down the controversial ChemWorks waste water treatment plant proposal.

"I'm so excited, I'm just shaking," resident Barb Vermey said immediately following the vote.

The action comes after months of discussion and opposition from nearby residential property owners, who have pleaded with village officials not to let the project proceed.

Discussion by commissioners focused primarily on the proposed use of the land, which they ultimately declared objectionable after 21/2 hours of debate. Another option would have been to put in place a lengthy list of limitations and restrictions, which Commissioner Tim Newman said would be difficult to enforce.

"If it comes down to self-monitoring, I don't have that confidence," he said of Advanced Waste Services, parent company of ChemWorks. The company was granted an occupancy permit by the village in August, 2013, which allowed renovations to begin on a former concrete block manufacturing plant on a 21.6-acre parcel at N5998 Lilly Road.

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Bay girls win 10 events to repeat as North Shore indoor track champs

April 10, 2014 9:44 p.m. | As one of the few seniors on the immensely talented and successful Whitefish Bay girls track team, Sara Coffey realizes what a good thing she's a part of right now.

Because the Blue Dukes built off their titles in their own Lois Wolf Invitational and the WTFA State Indoor last week by claiming an impressive 10 events and repeating as North Shore Conference indoor champions at Milwaukee Lutheran Thursday night.

"It's been really fun," said Coffey, who won both the 1,600 and 3,200-meter races. "We've all been working very hard since the end of the cross country season (last fall). It's so fun to see all this hard work pay off.

"We all ran like crazy last week and we did even better this week."

The Blue Dukes scored 144 points for their title in the eight-team field as a game Homestead team won two events and took second with 115. Germantown was fourth with 59 and Nicolet sixth with 34.

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Waste business not permitted to relocate to Menomonee Falls

April 09, 2014 10:17 p.m. | A Milwaukee-based industrial waste treatment business that has been the subject of odor complaints from its neighbors will not be permitted to relocate to Menomonee Falls at this time, the village plan commission decided Wednesday.

The commission found the business objectionable and that its proposed uses of the property would be prohibited.

Village President Randall Newman was applauded by residents when he explained his vote. "I think it's a nuisance to the surrounding area," he said.

More than 200 residents attended the meeting at Ben Franklin Elementary School. The commission dismissed Advanced Waste Services Inc.'s request to operate its business at a property off Lilly Road that is zoned for heavy industry after more than two hours of discussion.

An option, as proposed by village staff, to make permits subject to numerous odor control and operating restrictions specified by the commission to reduce the effect on the community was not considered.

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Waukesha County Board OKs recycling program with Milwaukee

April 09, 2014 10:35 a.m. | The Waukesha County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved an intergovernmental agreement between the county and the city of Milwaukee for a joint recycling program run by ReCommunity Recycling.

Mayor Tom Barrett has praised the effort as an example of intergovernmental cooperation.

The County Board vote was 21-1. Afterward, Waukesha County Executive Dan Vrakas released a statement saying the collaboration, which will be headquartered in the Menomonee Valley, will increase recycling, reduce processing costs and enhance revenue.

“This unique public-private partnership will ensure the continuation of tax relief for Waukesha County community partners," Vrakas said.

The agreement is expected to generate $2 million in annual revenue for the city.

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Menomonee Falls police identify man killed in accidental shooting

April 04, 2014 12:50 p.m. | Menomonee Falls police on Friday identified 61-year-old Michael Price as the man who was killed by a self-inflicted, accidental gunshot wound to the chest on Thursday.

The shooting occurred about 8:50 a.m. Thursday in the parking lot of Bob Lanier Enterprises, N93-W14575 Whittaker Way, according to a news release.

Price, of Menomonee Falls, had two handguns in his possession, one of which accidentally discharged, police said.

"We have no reason to believe that either the discharge was intentional or foul play was involved," investigators said in a news release.

Man killed by accidental, self-inflicted gunshot in Menomonee Falls

April 03, 2014 11:40 a.m. | A 61-year-old man was killed by a self-inflicted, accidental gunshot wound to the chest on Thursday, Menomonee Falls police said.

The shooting occurred about 8:50 a.m. Thursday at Bob Lanier Enterprises, N93-W14575 Whittaker Way, officials said.

The man's identity has not been released and police did not specify if he was a employee at the business.

Polling places are open in Menomonee Falls

April 01, 2014 11:57 a.m. | Menomonee Falls — Polling places are now open throughout the village for today's election.

In the Village Board race, Michael McDonald, Katie Kress and Chris Rolenc are facing off to fill Village Board Seat No. 1. The seat is vacant due to the retirement of Sharon Ellis.

Tim Newman, Kevel Anderson and Chris Smolik are vying for Seat No. 2, which is left vacant by the recent passing of long-time board member Jim Jeskewitz.

Joseph Helm is running unopposed for Seat No. 3, currently held by Dennis Farrell.

In the School Board race, three candidates are competing for two seats. Incumbent Ronald Bertieri seeks to retain his position for a third term, while first-time candidates Lowell Kellogg and Mark Nadolski compete for a second seat left vacant by Gina Palazzari, who has opted to retire.

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