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Franklin cougar mystery solved? Tracks ID'ed as coming from dog

Dec. 24, 2012 12:50 p.m. | Franklin - Mayor Tom Taylor told NOW Newspapers that tracks seen near the Oak Leaf Bike Trail last week, which at least one county parks worker believed belonged to a cougar, were identified as the prints of a large dog by a state wildlife specialist.

Local police departments have taken a handful of reports of large cat sightings in the area over the past several weeks.

Sightings have been reported in Franklin, Hales Corners and Oak Creek.

Oak Creek baseball team rallies big

July 19, 2014 12:12 a.m. | It's like Oak Creek baseball coach Scott Holler has been saying for a long time:

The four-time state champion Knights do not play just to win a single WIAA playoff game. They play to go to state.

So the second-seeded Knights went with a trio of sophomore pitchers Friday night in a WIAA regional final against visiting Hale, and in one of the messiest, longest games anyone has ever seen, the Knights rallied from a 6-0 deficit in the second inning to beat the Huskies, 14-8, in an exhausting affair that lasted 2 hours and 44 minutes.

Umpires were uncertain if another inning could have been played, as the sun was already behind the horizon at Abendschein Park.

Holler is relieved that they didn't have to try.

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Search of phone leads police to suspects in South Milwaukee gun thefts

July 17, 2014 1:01 p.m. | South Milwaukee police are investigating the theft of 13 guns during a home burglary in which police say one of the teen suspects took a cellphone photo of himself with one of the stolen rifles.

The victim reported his residence on Chicago Ave. in South Milwaukee was broken into on July 6 or 7. Among the items reported stolen were six rifles, six shotguns and a .32 caliber Derringer pistol, as well as two laptops, a DVD player, a TV and a camera, according to court documents.

Police were able to identify suspects in the burglary with the help of Franklin police, who were investigating an armed robbery. The victim in the robbery provided a license plate number, which Franklin detective Kevin Liermann used to identify the suspect's vehicle, a Buick Century.

Liermann then interviewed the suspect, an 18-year-old Cudahy man, who denied having any ties to the robbery, and no weapons were found in the vehicle. But court documents show a search of the suspect's iPhone revealed evidence of a connection to the South Milwaukee burglary:

■Texts showed the teen sending a message around 11 p.m. on July 6 to someone, later identified as the second burglary suspect, saying, "Want to lick the huz?" Police say the term "lick" typically means "rob." The other suspect responded by text with the burglary victim's home address, and stated, "Wear gloves."

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South Milwaukee registers sewage overflow into Lake Michigan tributary

July 15, 2014 10:27 a.m. | A South Milwaukee sanitary sewer overflowed into Oak Creek, a tributary of Lake Michigan, for about five hours last weekend after water from heavy rain leaked into residential and municipal sewers and caused excessive flows of wastewater, a city official said Tuesday.

The excess water filled a sanitary sewer on the city's southwest side, triggering a relief pump that started pouring wastewater into the creek about 10 p.m. Saturday, South Milwaukee Wastewater Superintendent Andrew Bakalarski said. The pump near 15th Ave. and Marquette Ave. stopped about 3 a.m. Sunday after flows in the sewer dropped.

Overflows to waterways help prevent sewage backups into basements. An estimate of the overflow volume was not available Tuesday.

A rain gauge at the lakeshore sewage treatment plant on 5th Ave. recorded 3.02 inches of water in the storms, Bakalarski said. That was the most rainfall recorded in the Milwaukee area.

The downpour hit South Milwaukee around 8 p.m. Saturday, and the gauge registered 2.8 inches of rain by 10:40 p.m., he said.

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City delays decision on $1.2 million claim involving detective

July 14, 2014 5:25 p.m. | A Milwaukee Common Council committee on Monday unanimously voted to delay a decision until September on a $1.2 million claim filed by a Franklin man injured by a Milwaukee police detective in 2006.

The five-member Judiciary and Legislation Committee discussed the case of Franklin resident Richard Betker against the City of Milwaukee as part of a closed session lasting nearly 90 minutes.

Betker and his wife sued the Milwaukee Police Department in 2008, after Gomez got a tip about illegal weapons in Betker's possession and led a SWAT team search the home. When Betker heard people in his house, he brandished a legally owned gun, thinking it would ward off intruders, and was shot in the hand and shoulder by police.

All officers were dismissed except Gomez, and a federal jury concluded in 2012 that Gomez lied on his search warrant affidavit to obtain a "no knock" warrant for Betker's home. Since Gomez is a city employee, the city could still be held responsible for the damages.

Alderman Ashanti Hamilton, the committee chair, said that committee members had "a number of different concerns" about the case, but declined to give specifics. He said that committee members would meet with Assistant City Attorney Susan Lappen, who represents Gomez, in the coming months to continue discussing the case.

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Tesla settles lemon lawsuit, agrees to pay Franklin man $127,000

July 14, 2014 2:45 p.m. | Carmaker Tesla Motors has agreed to pay a Franklin physician nearly $127,000 to settle his lemon law claim over the luxury electric sedan.

When Robert Montgomery filed his claim in April, it was believed to be the first ever lemon law claim against Tesla, a Wall Street darling despite some early bad publicity involving celebrity customers such as George Clooney, a few battery fires and some states' challenges to the company's no-dealerships sales model.

Montgomery's attorney, self-proclaimed lemon law king Vince Megna, said the payment from Tesla covers all his client's costs, including the $94,770 price of the car and various taxes, fees, maintenance programs and options. Just under $265 was set off for the mileage Montgomery put on the car.

"My client got everything he asked for. Everything he paid in," Megna said Monday. "This is all he ever wanted since he sent out his own demand notice last November."

Megna's fee of $18,500 was included in the settlement amount.

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Suzy's Cheesecakes facility wins final Oak Creek approval

July 09, 2014 1:21 p.m. |

An Oak Creek industrial building proposed as the new home for Suzy's Cream Cheesecakes Inc. has received city approval for some renovations to accommodate the company.
 
The Plan Commission on Tuesday night approved changes to the 44,200-square-foot former commercial printing facility, at 9911 S. Howell Ave., said Kari Papelbon, a city planner. Suzy's plans to begin that work as soon as possible, she said.
 
Suzy’s Chief Executive Officer Mark Kirchner couldn’t be reached for comment Wednesday.
 
Suzy's, which now has around 50 employees at 1775 E. Bolivar Ave., St. Francis, plans to have 90 employees at the Oak Creek building, according to a city report. 
 
The Oak Creek Common Council in January approved a $2.2 million industrial revenue bond sale to help finance Suzy's move from its longtime St. Francis production facility to the Howell Ave. building.
 
The city would not be a lender nor a guarantor of the tax-exempt bonds.
 
Oak Creek would allow an affiliate of Port Washington-based Ansay Development Corp. to borrow money from a private lender by selling bonds issued in the city's name.
 
The lender would accept a lower interest rate from the Ansay affiliate because the lender doesn't pay federal taxes on municipal bonds.
 
The Oak Creek building was later sold to that affiliate, Howell Avenue Oak Creek LLC, by an affiliate of Milwaukee-based Van Buren Management Inc. for $2.05 million, according to state real estate records posted in March.
 
The company in 2011 proposed a new facility in Milwaukee, at the Menomonee Valley Industrial Center. But those plans didn't proceed.
 
Also, Suzy’s last year considered building a new facility in Belgium, in Ozaukee County.

We Energies seeks to modify Oak Creek power plant

July 08, 2014 7:05 p.m. | The price of coal burned at We Energies' Oak Creek power plant has surged in recent years, so the Milwaukee utility wants to make modifications to the plant that would allow less expensive coal to be burned, too.

We Energies is asking state energy regulators to allow it to spend $25 million to make modifications to the power plant, which was built at a cost of $2.3 billion.

The plant, which opened in 2009 and 2010, wants to burn more coal mined in the western United States. That coal is about 35% cheaper than the Appalachian coal it burns now.

In a regulatory filing, the state's largest utility said customers would see savings of about $16 million a year if its plan is adopted.

Coal from the Powder River Basin costs less than Appalachian coal because the price of eastern coal has risen after a surge in exports of coal to China and other countries.

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5 Wisconsin men caught with 100 walleye over limit in North Dakota

July 05, 2014 3:04 p.m. | Devils Lake, N.D. — Five anglers from Wisconsin have been caught with 100 walleye over the state limit at Devils Lake and are each facing fines of more than $1,700, according to North Dakota Game and Fish wardens.

Wardens say they got a tip about a group of men who were overfishing and staying in a rental home in Devils Lake.

WDAY-TV reports a warden found 25 whole walleye in one of the fishermen's vehicles. Another 135 cleaned and frozen walleye were found in their rental house.

The daily limit in North Dakota is 10 walleyes per person.

According to the Pioneer Press in St. Paul, Minn., the men were identified as Michael Wirkus of Racine, Donald Klatkiewicz of Mukwonago, Daniel Klatkiewicz of Hales Corners, Robert Richer Jr. of Hales Corners and Allen Lafave of Racine. A sixth angler, a juvenile, also was part of the crew.

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Sustachek's no-hitter lifts Oak Creek baseball team to GMC title

July 03, 2014 11:58 p.m. | He never threw anything close to a no-hitter before, not even in grade school but give Oak Creek senior pitcher Jesse Sustachek credit for having good timing.

Make that magnificent timing.

In the game of his young life, the Knight hurler guided his team to a share of the Greater Metro Conference regular season baseball title with a one-walk, 3-0 no-hitter over powerful Brookfield Central Thursday night.

"Jesse is rapidly turning into one of the best big game pitchers we've ever had," said coach Scott Holler. "He's not going to blow you away with his velocity. ...but he was able to get ahead in the count with off-speed stuff. He got ahead with the curve and the slider and then he was able to spot his fastball on one and two-strike counts."

With the win, the defending GMC champion Knights, who were scuffling last week with three losses in six tries behind a myriad number of errors and walks, launched themselves into a tie for the title with Marquette at 15-3 (18-6 overall), while the Lancers, who had controlled the league race for much of the season, fell into third at 14-4.

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Patrick Cudahy statue to be rededicated for park's 100th anniversary

July 03, 2014 12:45 p.m. | The 100th anniversary celebration of Sheridan Park will be marked Friday with the rededication of the Patrick Cudahy statue immediately following the parade about 2 p.m.

Michael Cudahy, the grandson of Patrick Cudahy, who founded the town when he moved his meat packing plant there, and other members of the Cudahy family will attend. Cudahy Mayor John Hohenfeldt, Supervisor Patricia Jursik and Sheridan Park friends will also attend.

Patrick Cudahy preserved lakefront land for use as Sheridan Park 100 years ago, and 65 years ago a statue in his honor was erected at the park.

The statue is on the east end of Layton Ave. near the intersection of Sheridan Park Drive and Cudahy War Memorial Blvd.

"Patrick Cudahy rose from humble beginnings to create a meat packing company, organize the town and workers that would support his company and yet also recognized that the good people of Cudahy would also benefit from park land and preserving the lake front," Jursik said.

Hales Corners CPA charged with federal tax fraud

July 02, 2014 4:40 p.m. | A Hales Corners certified public accountant has been indicted on federal charges of filing false tax returns by concealing clients' financial standing and obtaining or writing off funds from insurance policies, according to the U.S. attorney's office in Milwaukee.

John C. Noggle was indicted by a grand jury sitting in Milwaukee. He is accused of incorrectly advising clients they were able to take funds out of life insurance and annuity holdings, which resulted in underreporting of income.

Authorities say Noggle earned commissions on the insurance products he recommended to clients.

The amount of tax not paid was approximately $411,000 involving four taxpayers, according to the U.S. attorney's office.

Noggle, a CPA since 1971 who has owned a tax preparation and accounting firm since 2003, did not return calls for comment Wednesday.

Falls pitcher Ty Weber strikes out 12 in 4-3 win over Oak Creek

June 24, 2014 10:14 p.m. | Seeing as this was supposed to be a home game for Oak Creek but was sent back to  Menomonee Falls because of wet grounds on the south side, Falls coach Pat Hansen wondered if the harrowing, 4-3 victory the Indians pulled over the Knights Tuesday night counted as a home win.

"Because almost all of our recent wins against these guys have come on the road," he said. "We haven't done too well here recently against them (on our home field of Trenary)."

But because Hansen had steely sophomore ace in the hole Ty Weber, the Indians were able to earn an important win, regardless of whether it was counted as a home game or not.

Weber improved to 5-0 on the season with a gritty effort. The Knights (13-4 overall), tagged him for 10 hits, but Weber was able to strand a lot of runners with 12 timely strikeouts against just two walks.

"This team hit him harder than just about anybody has this year," said Hansen, "but a good sign for a young pitcher is that he was still able to compete without his best stuff."

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Bartolottas' Miss Beverly's Deluxe Barbeque is opening July 11 in Greendale

June 24, 2014 2:47 p.m. | Miss Beverly’s Deluxe Barbeque, the newest Bartolotta restaurant in Greendale, will open to the public on July 11, the company announced today.

Next door to the Bartolotta Restaurants' Joey Gerard’s supper club, at 5601 Broad St., Miss Beverly's also will have a throwback theme -- it's designed to look like a 1940s or '50s barbecue joint, the company says.

The restaurant will be counter service and carryout only, although it will have some seating for customers.

Besides entrees of baby back ribs ($24.95 full rack, $16.95 half), St. Louis cut spare ribs ($24.95, $16.95) and beef ribs ($23.95 for four, $16.95 for two), the restaurant will have beef brisket ($14.95), pulled pork ($13.95) and sausages ($9.95 for two).

Aside from smoked-and-broiled meats, it also will serve broasted chicken ($18.95 whole, $12.95 half).

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Woman arrested after rubbing feces on wall of boyfriend's home

June 24, 2014 9:48 a.m. | A woman was arrested after she went inside her boyfriend's home, defecated on his carpet, rubbed feces on the walls and screamed at police June 16.

According to the Oak Creek police report:

A resident in the 1300 block of East Alan Road reported that his girlfriend passed out inside his truck and then went inside his home, defecated on his carpet, and rubbed the feces into the hallway walls and his son's bedroom about 9:30 p.m. June 16.

The woman denied making the mess, whether it was accidental or intentional, and the caller told police he believed she was abusing her prescription medication.

She was taken to the hospital for evaluation by the Oak Creek Fire Department.

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Police called when large fight breaks out at bar

June 23, 2014 8:21 a.m. | Police responded to Bootz Saloon and Grill after receiving multiple 911 calls reporting a large fight apparently involving racial slurs at 2:25 a.m. June 7.

According to the Oak Creek police report:

Witnesses said a man at Bootz Saloon, 8950 S. 27th St., started the fight by using racial slurs toward another male patron, which led to a verbal altercation.

A second male then hit the patron on the head with a beer bottle, causing a large laceration, and the three starting scuffling. The patron was tackled into the front door, causing about $500 worth of damage to a window pane.

During the altercation a male security guard also got struck in the back with a beer bottle, but both victims refused medical attention. An uninvolved witness tentatively identified the man who started the disturbance, but the two suspects fled before police arrived and after they received multiple 911 calls about the fight.

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