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Relentless OC '9' outlasts Muskego and Borek, 6-4

June 28, 2011 9:43 p.m. | Prior to taking over as Muskego coach this year, Jacob Paige spent the last five years in the junior varsity position for Oak Creek.

So he was pleased Tuesday night when his man Austin Wendlandt blasted a pitch from Oak Creek's Hayden Krimmer into left-center for a three-run double in the third. Muskego left the top of that frame with a 4-1 lead.

Paige was pleased, but he knew the game was far from over and he was right, as the Knights nibbled away at his ace Cole Borek inning after inning until they pulled ahead in the seventh inning and took a critical, 6-4, Greater Metro Conference victory.

"They are relentless," said Paige. "They can hit from the top of their order to the bottom. There is just no let-up."

Krimmer, who got great help from his defense in not letting the Warriors score again on the evening, said it was all just part of the Oak Creek philosophy.

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Boerner Botanical Gardens hosting Herb Fair May 28

6:15 p.m. | Hales Corners —The Herb Society of America's Wisconsin Unit is celebrating pepper as the "Herb of the Year" at the 2016 Herb Fair May 28 at Boerner Botanical Gardens, according to a news release.

The free event will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 9400 Boerner Drive in Whitnall Park in Hales Corners.

Talks will be held regarding peppers as appetizers and desserts as well as growing herbs in containers. There will also be various demonstrations, thousands of herb plants on display, art with an herb garden theme, herbal items made by Wisconsin Unit members, and a tea room.

Kids of all ages will be entertained making seed paper.

Greendale's Canterbury Elementary enters recycling contest to win new playground

6:07 p.m. | Greendale —Canterbury Elementary is trying to win a playground from Colgate, Meijer, and Terracycle made from oral care products.

The school will earn one "playground credit" for every unit of oral care waste, according to a news release May 16. Those units can be toothpaste tubes and floss containers, for example. Additional credits are earned for every online vote cast on the contest website — meijer.com/colgate — by June 18.

The grand price is a playground made of recycled oral care waste collected through the Colgate Oral Care Recycling Program. The challenge launched April 24 in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, and Wisconsin. The program is ongoing and open to any individual, family, school, or community group, the release states.

Every piece of waste sent in with a prepaid shipping label earns money toward the participants' school or charity of choice.

To learn more, visit www.terracycle.com/colgate.

Oak Creek boys track team stays on task, win sixth SEC outdoor title

1:54 p.m. | When a team has won six straight Southeast Conference outdoor track titles like the Oak Creek boys have, there are bound to be several good reasons.

One major reason, according to veteran coach Rick Stack, is how he staffs the meet, which he and his team have hosted for the last several years.

"It's always nice to be at home," said Stack after the Knights latest dominant league outdoor title effort May 17. "I had my JV kids working the meet, and those guys are out there doing things to make the meet run more easily, and they're taking it all in.

"They see what happens, and they say to themselves 'We don't want to let that (run) down,' and that also helps in their confidence."

The Knights, who also won the Southeast Conference Relays, will now look to build on that momentum in the WIAA series of qualifying meets. They took part in a regional at South Milwaukee on Monday, May 23, and sent qualifiers from there to the sectional at Whitnall, which begins at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, May 26.

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Initial Reaction: Talking with star Waukesha soccer players Dani Rhodes, Emily Cervantes

12:05 p.m. | JP sits down with top girls soccer players Dani Rhodes of Waukesha West and Emily Cervantes of Catholic Memorial. JP also begrudgingly talks about the decision facing Wisconsin forward Nigel Hayes, and the guys talk about Cubs-hate in the Milwaukee market and look at a number of WIAA spring sports storylines. 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.

Franklin boys tennis team dominates SEC tourney

10:15 a.m. | On a rare, dry, nice day, the defending champion Franklin boys tennis team acted accordingly, dominating almost all levels of play and cruising to the Southeast Conference title May 19.

"It was a beautiful day for tennis," said an enthusiastic Sabers' coach Gail Champion. "We had six flights of conference champions. I don't remember us ever having this many champions.

"Everyone battled hard. We had a number of super tie breakers determine matches. We came into the tournament with 47 points, and we accumulated a grand total of 91 points (again a first)."

The Sabers looked to build on that effort as they started WIAA tourney play with subsectional action at Greenfield on Tuesday, May 24. Qualifiers took part in sectional play hosted by Marquette on Wednesday, May 25.

The first four finishers in Flight 1 of singles and doubles and the winners of Flight 2 in singles and doubles automatically advance to the WIAA State Individual Tournament in Madison, June 2-4.

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Big bats land Oak Creek softball team SEC title

10:10 a.m. | Known as a pitchers game for many years, the batters are starting to catch up in Wisconsin girls fast-pitch softball.

And the 20-5 Southeast Conference champion Oak Creek Knights are embracing that concept with gusto.

They have scored in double digits 12 times this season and did so again May 18 in stunning fashion, pounding 16 hits to run-rule Whitnall, 12-2, in what was supposed to be an intriguing nonconference southside showdown at Oak Creek East Middle School.

"Everyone is just crushing the ball," said Oak Creek coach Jeff Trask. "We start getting a few hits, and it saps the energy out of the opposing team. Hitting is just contagious on our team. We just need a couple of kids to put it together, and off we go."

The Knights continued their hitting streak in a big way with a 13-3 victory over Kenosha Indian Trail on May 19 that clinched the Southeast Confererence title. They finished the league schedule May 20 in impressive fashion with a tough-minded 2-1 decision over Kenosha Tremper.

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Steady Franklin golfers claim Southeast Conference title

May 23, 2016 8:34 p.m. | It was not a day to go for broke on a difficult and challenging course for the Franklin boys golf team at the Southeast Conference 18-hole finale at Meadowbrook on May 19.

No, this was a day to stay on target, work the game plan and just secure the conference title the team had worked so hard to earn over the course of the regular season.

And oh yes, be good sports along the way.

The Sabers did just that, putting a definitive capper on their first league title since 2013 with a winning 331 total, well head of Racine Horlick (343).

Furthermore, Franklin was also awarded the league's Sportsmanship Award, something that coach Brandon Johnsen was as proud of as the title itself.

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Grease fire damages oven at Franklin bakery

May 20, 2016 7:44 a.m. | A grease fire in an oven at Baptista's Bakery in Franklin caused "minimal" damage to the oven, according to a news release from the Franklin Police Department.

Police and fire personnel responded to a report of a fire at about 1:21 a.m. Friday, May 20, at the bakery, in the 4600 block of West Oakwood Park Drive.

The fire department extinguished a small grease fire in one of the bakery's ovens. The building was evacuated, and there were no injuries.

Five places to go to let your dog off the leash this summer

May 19, 2016 5:32 p.m. | Taking your dog out for a walk can be fun and good exercise for owner and canine alike.

But dogs on a leash are restrained in such a way that it limits their exercise. It keeps them from really being able to stretch their legs and get some speed, as they like to do when they are unharnessed. The Milwaukee County Parks website encourages such behavior in dogs (as well as humans).

"Calling all dogs! Enjoy the Dog Exercise Areas (DEAs) in the parks — where you and your human can run free," the county parks website reads. "Play Frisbee with your human, explore nature, and socialize with the big dogs or visit one of the Dog Exercise Areas with spaces fenced especially for small dogs."

The website claims it's "so much more fun than going for a walk around the block."

Why not find out for yourself? There are a number of places within the county that allow you to let your dog off leash and have some fun together.

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Reptile Day returns June 12 at Wehr Nature Center

May 19, 2016 3:01 p.m. | Those who visit Wehr Nature Center June 12 from 1-4 p.m. will have the chance to meet some reptiles and amphibians up close, according to a news release May 19.

From 1:30 to 2:45 p.m. those in attendance can participate in nature hikes to search for turtles, frogs, and snakes at the Wehr Nature Center, 9701 W. College Avenue in Franklin.

Many different species will be on display including the common snapping turtle, blue-spotted salamander, and timber rattlesnake which are all native t Wisconsin. In addition, a few exotic species will also be there including the Amazon tree boa, ball python, and spiny-tailed lizard.

Oak Creek stuns Whitnall, 12-2, in battle of softball powers

May 19, 2016 12:21 a.m. | Known as a pitcher's game for many years, the batters are starting to catch up in Wisconsin girls' fastpitch softball.

And the 18-6 Southeast Conference leading Oak Creek Knights are embracing that concept with gusto.

They have scored in double digits 12 times this season and did so again on Wednesday in stunning fashion, pounding 16 hits to run-rule fourth-ranked in state D2 polls Whitnall, 12-2, in what was supposed to be an intriguing nonconference southside showdown at Oak Creek East Middle School.

"Everyone is just crushing the ball," said Oak Creek coach Jeff Trask. "We start getting a few hits and it saps the energy  out of the opposing team. Hitting is just contagious on our team. We just need a couple of kids to put it together and off we go."

The player the Knights fed off of today was pitcher Becca Oleniczak. She gave up a two-run homer to her opposing number, Falcons' hurler Alex Cimler, in the top of the first, but then got Oak Creek back into the game with a solo home run of her own in the bottom of the frame.

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Crash closes portion of Highway 100 in Hales Corners May 18

May 18, 2016 1:30 p.m. | A crash on northbound Highway 100 in Hales Corners has blocked all lanes in one direction according to a release from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation State Traffic Operations Center.

Highway 100 northbound is closed at Edgerton Avenue due to the incident. The I-43 westbound off ramp to Highway 100 northbound is also closed.

The crash occurred at 11:50 a.m. May 18 with an estimated duration of over two hours.

The Milwaukee County Sheriff is handling the incident.

UPDATE:The crash has been cleared and all lanes are open.

Oak Creek approves $13 million financing help for Ikea store

May 18, 2016 10:35 a.m. | The Oak Creek Common Council has approved a proposal for $13 million in city financing help for Wisconsin's first Ikea store.

The council voted 5-1 Tuesday night to approve the development agreement.

The only opponent was Ald. Mark Verhalen, who said the expense "was a little bit more than the city can handle at this time."

Supporters said the financing proposal was helping to draw a world-renowned retailer, generating both property tax revenue and jobs. They also said the plan minimized the risk to the city by reducing its upfront costs.

Ikea will obtain the city cash through annual refunds of the $50 million store's property taxes for up to 20 years, said Doug Seymour, community development director, and Gerald Peterson, city administrator.

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Franklin girls soccer team finishes second at Kiel tournament

May 17, 2016 10:48 p.m. | Just in time for the stretch run, the Franklin girls soccer team is finding its legs.

The Sabers turned in a 4-1 record last week, including two wins in the Kiel Tournament on May 14 before falling to an unbeaten Oostburg side, 3-1, in the final.

Coach Casey Roche is pleased with the direction the Sabers are headed in.

"We didn't put our best game together in the finals, and it was obvious," he said. "However ... to finish as the tournament runner-up is a positive accomplishment in itself."

Franklin downed Mayville, 4-3, in overtime penalty kicks to open the tournament and then overpowered Sheboygan Christian, 5-2, in the semifinals before falling to Oostburg.

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Why did IKEA choose Oak Creek? Location

May 17, 2016 7:55 p.m. | Oak Creek — With the announcement of retail giant IKEA opening their first Wisconsin store in Oak Creek, many wondered why the company chose that location, especially with IKEA stores situated in northern Illinois.

Joseph Roth, an expansion public affairs representative for IKEA, said the retailer had been looking to open a store in Wisconsin, specifically the Milwaukee area, on and off for about 10 years.

Roth described the Schaumburg (Illinois) store, the closest one to Wisconsin, as "very busy." He said one reason they were looking at the Milwaukee area was to help relieve some of the pressure on that store, saying that already more than 200,000 shoppers from Wisconsin visit the northern Illinois stores as well as a store in Bloomington, Minnesota. That's not counting area residents who shop online for IKEA products.

"We were willing to wait until we found the right spot," Roth said.

Off the interstate

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