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Greendale schools purposefully chosen as venue for state literacy program announcement

Jan. 04, 2012 11:52 a.m. | Gov. Scott Walker this morning unveiled a new statewide literacy program, Read to Lead, at Greendale's Highland View Elementary School because it is "a great school district that excels."

At a news conference in the school's library, Walker noted that, according to the 2011 National Assessment of Educational Progress, Wisconsin's progress in reading achievement is stagnant at best. The Greendale School District, meanwhile, boasts that 89.2 percent of its 10th-graders ranked as proficient or advanced in reading, as measured by the Wisconsin Knowledge Concepts Examination.

Walker said students who are not proficient early are four times more likely not to graduate from high school. When poverty is factored in, the odds are greater, with students 13 times more likely not to complete school.

For that reason, he convened a bipartisan task force in spring whose recommendations include early literacy screenings, aggressive professional development for teachers, and accountability standards to measure Read to Lead's outcome.

No specific funding source for the program has been identified, although there are grant dollars - about $600,000 - for the universal literacy screenings. As far as oversight of the program, Walker said the Department of Public Instruction and the Department of Children and Families will likely coordinate its various elements.

Early morning vandal trashes Southwood Glen Elementary School in Franklin

3:05 p.m. | Franklin —The Franklin Police Department is investigating a case of vandalism that took place inside an elementary school early Sunday morning.

The police department was contacted by a custodian of Southwood Glen Elementary School around 1:50 a.m. on Sunday, April 26, after the building's security system had triggered an alarm, said Franklin Police Captain Joseph Spak.

The custodian reported that someone sneaked into the school and had thrown eggs on the gymnasium walls, poured milk on the floor and started a small fire in one of the plastic garbage bins. The melted plastic had caused damage to the floor, Spak said.

An unidentified flag was also burned at the scene. Spak said the item was not an American flag.

The school district also reported that one storage room had been vandalized.

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Area public school districts receive state funding for library materials

10:03 a.m. | Public school district throughout the state will share $35.5 million in library aid, which will was paid on April 27 from the Common School Fund.

The Common School Fund is the only funding specifically designated for the purchase of materials for school libraries.

Aid is based on the number of children between the ages of four and 20 living in each school district. This year's school library aid payment will be about $29 for each child — an increase from last year by about $4. Funding is up $5.3 million from last year. Districts must use the library aid by June 30 to purchase new materials.

The following is the amount of funding received by each school district in the region:

The Franklin Public School District will receive $159,502; The Greendale School District will receive $84,851; Oak Creek-Franklin Joint School District will receive $201,317; and the Whitnall School District will receive $75,261.

Dump truck driver seriously injured in restaurant crash

April 25, 2015 2:03 p.m. | The driver of a dump truck that crashed into a Waushara County restaurant Friday night was seriously injured in the incident.

George C. Cooper, a 62-year-old man from Wisconsin Dells, was taken to a hospital with injuries authorities described as life threatening, the Wisconsin State Patrol said.

The truck had just collided with another vehicle about 7 p.m. on state Highway 21 at Main St. near Redgranite, the State Patrol said.

The truck was westbound on Highway 21 when it struck another westbound vehicle, a Buick Enclave SUV, from behind. The truck then crashed into the restaurant, injuring five customers.

Cooper was flown by helicopter to a hospital.

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Village of Greendale now accepting applicants for trustee vacancy

April 22, 2015 12:24 p.m. | Greendale — The village is now accepting applications for individuals interested in filling a vacancy on the board of trustees.

The open trustee seat was left by James Birmingham, who was elected Village President in the spring election.

The applicant chosen to fill the vacancy will hold office until April of 2016, when a special election will be held for a one-year term for the trustee seat. The position is paid $5,901 per year.

Individuals eligible to be a registered voters, and are interested in serving on the board, may submit a brief resume or letter describing their history of involvement in the village. Applicants must include a statement expressing their interest for the position.

The resume or letter must be received by Village Clerk-Treasurer Kristen Victory by 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 12.

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Department of Transportation begins 27th Street reconstruction

April 21, 2015 3:53 p.m. | Oak Creek and Franklin — The Wisconsin Department of Transportation has begun reconstruction on 27th Street through the cities of Franklin and Oak Creek.

The two-year reconstruction project on Highway 241 (27th Street) will stretch from south of Drexel Avenue to north of College Avenue.

A single-lane closure has taken effect south of Drexel Avenue. During the project, two lanes of traffic will be open in each direction of Highway 241, from College to Minnesota avenues. Beginning the week of April 27, traffic may be down to one lane from south of Drexel Avenue to Minnesota Avenue until midsummer.

The contractor, Michels, plans to complete the $29.5 million project in fall of 2016. More information can be found on 511 Wisconsin at

Woman hurt in strong arm robbery at Franklin Wal-Mart

April 21, 2015 1:15 p.m. | Franklin — Franklin police say a woman was injured during a strong armed robbery at Wal-Mart.

Police say officers were called to the store on the corner of West Sycamore Street and South 27th Street at 4:04 a.m. Tuesday.

The 49-year-old victim was loading groceries into her car when three suspects approached her and threw her to the ground. She was kicked and punched while on the ground. The suspects then entered a silver minivan and left the scene, according to a news release from the Franklin Police Department.

Officers located the minivan on South 27th Street near Ryan Road and a pursuit ensued.

The minivan fled south onto Interstate 94, where the Wisconsin State Patrol and the Racine County Sheriff's Department assisted in the pursuit. The suspect vehicle then exited the freeway at Highway 11 and eventually stopped near 14th Street and Main Street in Racine.

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Franklin bowling center, banquet hall to reopen with new owner

April 21, 2015 9:16 a.m. |

Franklin's closed Root River Center, which features a banquet hall, bowling alley and other operations, has been sold to a group that plans to reopen it.
The property, 7220 W. Rawson Ave., was sold to Root River Partners LLC for $825,000, according to state real estate records posted Tuesday. Root River Partners' agent is David Church, according to those records.
Church plans to reopen the facility, said Nick Fuchs, Franklin senior planner. Fuchs didn't know the schedule for reopening it.
Church, of New Berlin, couldn't be immediately reached for comment.
The 23,331-square-foot building was sold by Landmark Credit Union. The credit union acquired the property in October, in lieu of foreclosure, form St. Nikolas Association Inc., which operates St. Nikolas Serbian Orthodox Church, of Cudahy. 

St. Nikolas abruptly closed Root River Center, which includes outdoor volleyball courts, in July 2013.  

Church in 2006 founded StoneFire Pizza Co., in New Berlin on S. Moorland Road near I-43, as a more upscale version of the Chuck E. Cheese chain. StoneFire Pizza features play areas for children and games, as well as a sports bar, and a quieter dining area for adult lunch customers.  
But the 40,000-square-foot development fell short of its projected revenue, and it entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. It was sold in 2011 to Carl Tomich, Westridge Builders Inc. president, for $2.8 million--well below its $12.5 million development cost.

Motorcyclist killed on Canal St. is identified

April 20, 2015 2:48 p.m. | The motorcyclist who died after hitting a guardrail in Milwaukee was identified as Joseph E. Hernke, according to police.

Hernke, 46, of South Milwaukee, was driving a motorcycle about 6:50 p.m. Saturday in the 3200 block of W. Canal St. when he hit the curb of a street, traveled onto a sidewalk and struck a guardrail.

Authorities said Hernke was not wearing a helmet and lost control on a curve before hitting a sidewalk. He was thrown from his motorcycle and died at the scene from his injuries, police said.

A 44-year-old Milwaukee man was riding behind Hernke on a separate motorcycle and was arrested on an allegation of operating while under the influence of alcohol, according to a police spokesman.

Oak Creek-Franklin School District reschedules enrollment boundary meeting

April 20, 2015 1:23 p.m. | Oak Creek —A meeting regarding proposed changes to school attendance boundaries has been rescheduled.

The meeting, originally scheduled for April 20, will allow the public an opportunity to discuss proposed changes to the Oak Creek-Franklin Joint School District, which must decide how to fill the new elementary school approved by referendum last year.

According to a recent survey, five out of six elementary grade levels as well as Oak Creek High School are above enrollment capacity. The addition of a new elementary school will require adjustments to the existing enrollment areas.

The rescheduled meeting will be held at 6 p.m. on May 4 in the district's Administration Office, 7630 South 10th St.

Gallery Night to showcase Greendale's student artwork

April 20, 2015 12:08 p.m. | Greendale —Greendale Middle School will host its first Gallery Night of the Arts on Thursday, May 14.

Student artwork will be featured from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the middle school, 6800 Schoolway. In addition to the exhibit, Greendale High School students will challenge Greenfield High School students in a series of "canvas wars," where they will compete in live painting during the event.

Other activities include a community painting project, led by the Greendale High School National Art Honor Society chapter, and the high school's Service Art Club will host a button-making station. Greendale Middle School students will provide live music during the Gallery Night.

The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be available for purchase.

'My Kidneys' 5K event in Greendale to promote kidney health

April 20, 2015 10:18 a.m. | Greendale — The National Kidney Foundation of Wisconsin will host a "My Kidneys" Run/Walk on Saturday, May 9.

The 5K run/walk along Root River Parkway South will help promote kidney health and raise awareness for the one in nine adults battling kidney disease.

Registration begins at the South 92nd and West College Avenue entrance at 7:30 a.m. Events will begin at 9 a.m. All funds will support the NKFW and its programs and services for patients and families in Wisconsin.

The "My Kidneys" event will include face painting, fun photos, organ donation information and trivia bingo.

The kidneys act as the body's main filtration system, ridding it of waste and helping balance essential fluids and chemicals. Kidney disease is hard to detect in the early stages, because there are no symptoms.

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Police chase in Cudahy ends in driver's arrest in Milwaukee

April 19, 2015 10:18 a.m. | Cudahy police chased a vehicle through three communities Saturday morning before the driver stopped the vehicle near S. 7th St. and Lincoln Ave. in Milwaukee, authorities said.

Around 9:40 a.m. Saturday, a Cudahy police officer attempted to stop the vehicle for a traffic violation in the 4800 block of S. Packard Ave. when the driver refused to stop, police said in a news release.

The vehicle was heading east on E. Layton Ave. when the driver lost control and the vehicle struck a sign at the intersection of S. Lake Drive. Two passengers fled on foot at that time and were taken into custody, police said.

The driver continued northbound on S. Lake Drive through St. Francis to S. Superior St. in Milwaukee. A third passenger fled the vehicle in the 1200 block of E. Conway St. and was taken into custody.

The driver again continued in the vehicle but was arrested after stopping at S. 7th St. and Lincoln Ave. in Milwaukee, police said.

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YEA! Greendale school program to recruit business-minded students

April 16, 2015 2:43 p.m. | Greendale — Students interested in becoming future business owners will have an opportunity to register for a new program next school year.

An informational meeting about the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) Greendale program will be held at 5:30 p.m. on April 27 in Greendale High School, 6801 Southway, in room 173.

YEA! Greendale is a new program that takes students from grades six to 12 through the process of planning and launching a business or social movement over the course of the school year. By the end of the class, students will own and operate functioning businesses, which may carry on after their graduation from the program.

Greendale High School Principal Steve Lodes, who will serve as the student recruitment program manager of YEA! Greendale, will lead the informational meeting for interested students, families and local business leaders.

Applications will be available at the event. The application deadline for the YEA! Greendale class of 2015-16 is May 15. Applicant interviews will be held mid-June.

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Oak Creek High School receives special grant to begin home construction class next year

April 15, 2015 4:29 p.m. | Oak Creek — Sixteen students from Oak Creek High School will build a house as part of a specialized course next school year.

On April 13, The Oak Creek-Franklin Joint School Board announced that a $47,000 grant from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development will help implement the program next year.

"Knight Construction," a subsequent class to the school's existing Construction 1 and 2 courses, will provide students with the opportunity to build a house from the ground up, further enhancing their knowledge of building construction.

"Our ultimate goal is to give these students the exposure to different types of trades … so that they can make an educated decision when considering future careers," said Matt Lonergan, a technology and engineering teacher at Oak Creek High School.

The High School Pupil Workforce Training Program grant, given through Governor Scott Walker's Wisconsin Fast Forward-Blueprint for Prosperity program, will pay for the costs of start-up equipment and training for the Oak Creek students.

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Oak Creek-Franklin School District discusses new enrollment boundaries

April 14, 2015 7:23 p.m. | Oak Creek — Residents approved a new elementary school to be built within the Oak Creek-Franklin Joint School District last year. Now, the district has to figure out how to shift existing students into that additional school.

Since the $59 million referendum (which will also fund a new secondary school) was passed in November, a special Elementary Attendance Area Committee has met several times to discuss new student boundaries for each school in the district.

"Right now, all of our schools are crowded," said Superintendent Sara Burmeister, "so we need to reduce the number of students at each of our elementary schools, making them more balanced and providing more room to grow in attendance areas that will most likely see residential development in future years."

Numbers game

The number of students enrolled in the district has jumped from 4,823 to more than 6,000 since 2000. Current enrollment shows that five out of six elementary grade levels as well as Oak Creek High School are above capacity. (The high school enrolls 2,038 students but is designed for 2,000.)

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