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DNR to host public meeting on groundwater contamination

April 09, 2013 10:28 a.m. | Franklin - The state Department of Natural Resources will host its third informational meeting for the public on molybdenum groundwater contamination in southeastern Wisconsin from 6 to 8 p.m. April 11 in the community room at Franklin City Hall, 9229 W. Loomis Road.

The meeting will be in an open house format. Tables will be set up so residents can talk to local and state officials about health issues, testing their wells and how to treat well water for elevated levels of molybdenum.

Molybdenum is a naturally occurring metal found in the earth's crust, and in some cases groundwater. It is an essential nutrient in the human diet, found in leafy vegetables, grains and meat, and included as a dietary supplement in multivitamins. But excessive levels are not healthy and can lead to digestive problems and gout. The metal also is found in man-made industrial sources such as coal ash.

The DNR, local officials and well owners first learned molybdenum was present at elevated levels in a handful of private wells in the Caledonia area in August 2009. An extensive DNR study completed in January helped identify areas of Milwaukee, Waukesha and Racine counties that have elevated levels of molybdenum, but was unable to pinpoint the origin.

"We will provide as many chances as we can for the public to get information, express their concerns on the issue and offer input. We're there to listen," DNR Southeast Regional Director Eric Nitschke said in a news release.

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Franklin to negotiate terms of West St. Martins Road repair, ownership with Milwaukee County

Dec. 17, 2014 4:12 p.m. | Franklin — Although the Common Council is interested in taking ownership of West St. Martins Road from Milwaukee County, city officials want to negotiate terms of the agreement first.

The county-owned road, which stretches from South North Cape Road to South Lovers Lane, is in poor condition. The 1.7-mile segment of West St. Martins Road is composed of century-old pavement, resulting in extensive cracking.

Milwaukee County has offered to pay for complete reconstruction of West St. Martins as long as the city of Franklin takes ownership of the road after the project.

The Common Council discussed the proposed "jurisdictional transfer" of the road during a meeting on Dec. 16. And although the council agreed the road needed to be rebuilt, aldermen were hesitant about what the reconstruction project may require, such as sidewalks and wider shoulders.

The council unanimously approved the jurisdictional transfer, but listed several conditions for the arrangement in a resolution.

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Developers propose three apartment projects in Cudahy

Dec. 11, 2014 2:51 p.m. | Three separate apartment development proposals are pending before city officials in Cudahy, it was announced Thursday.

One proposal calls for a 60-unit, five-story building on the site of the former Nativity of the Lord Parish and School at 3767 E. Underwood Ave.

Michael Lerner, of Development Consulting Services Inc., wants to build a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, along with underground parking. Lerner would demolish the long-vacant church and school to clear the site for the project, Mayor John Hohenfeldt said.

A public hearing on rezoning the site to accommodate Lerner's $8.4 million proposal is scheduled for Dec. 16 before the Common Council, Hohenfeldt said.

Also, CommonBond Communities Inc. is proposing a 48-unit, three-story building, with one- to three-bedroom units, and 12 two-story town houses on the site of a city Department of Public Works facility, 3555 E. Pabst Ave., which would be razed.

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Oak Creek has plans for development on lakefront after cleanup

Dec. 10, 2014 9:49 a.m. | Nearly 100 acres of lakefront land has been given to the City of Oak Creek, which plans to make more than half of that site available for private development, it was announced Wednesday.

The properties transferred to the city are at 4240 E. Ryan Road, previously owned by Houston-based EPEC Polymers Inc., and at 9180 S. 5th Ave., previously owned by Wilmington, Del.-based DuPont Co.

The 98 acres were transferred after a six-year environmental cleanup effort involving the city, the companies, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The DuPont site had a chemical plant in the 1920s and 1930s, and its waste was dumped on part of EPEC's property, according to a city statement.

DuPont and EPEC spent $18 million on the cleanup work.

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Oak Creek accepts ownership of former EPEC, Du Pont lakefront land

Dec. 10, 2014 9:48 a.m. | Oak Creek — The city accepted ownership of 98 acres of lakefront, known as Lake Vista, from E.I. Du Pont de Nemours and EPEC Polymers, Inc. as of Friday, Dec. 5.

The transfer of these properties took place at no cost to the city and is the result of a six year process to remediate the lakefront for redevelopment.

The two chemical manufacturers inhabited the properties in the 1920s and 1930s. Since closing, the city has worked in partnership with EPEC, Du Pont, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the Environmental Protection Agency to rid the land of contaminants.

Both EPEC and Du Pont spent $18 million to conduct the environmental investigation and implement the remediation plan, which included a 2-foot clay cap over a majority of the site.

"2015 marks Oak Creek's 60th year as a city, and I can't think of a better way to celebrate this moment in our history than by reclaiming the city's lakefront and making these lands accessible to the public for the very first time," said Mayor Steve Scaffidi.

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Menomonee Falls boys get defensive in beating Franklin, 48-30

Dec. 09, 2014 11:53 p.m. | The Menomonee Falls boys basketball team was coming off a flat effort against Watertown last Friday while Franklin was coming off an emotional high after beating 2014 state tourney qualifier Greendale the same night.

The Indians visited the Sabers Tuesday night, and the teams traded places, as Falls used a stifling defense and picked up 27 points in transition to overpower its hosts, 48-30.

"We scored only four points a quarter a couple of times last Friday and that was just not going to get it done," said Falls coach Ben Farley, "so we focused on nailing things down and executing better. We had missed so many shots (against Watertown) so we focused on finishing with confidence."

Meanwhile, Franklin coach Tim Hogan wondered where his team's energy from the other night was.

"We played so hard against Greendale (a one point win)," he said. "I just wish we had displayed a little more of that energy topnight, because there were many moments tonight where we just got outhustlled."

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Homeward bound: Victory of the Lamb, Kayla's Krew move closer to making new facilities a reality

Dec. 09, 2014 3:47 p.m. | Franklin — Victory of the Lamb, the Christian worship service that began as an eight-member Bible study in 2006, will finally have its own place to call home, and as a result an all-inclusive playground may be able to do the same.

Victory of the Lamb has been a relatively mobile worship group for the past eight years, moving from a residential home to the Polonia Youth Soccer Club and, finally, to the Showtime Cinema at 8910 S. 102nd St.

Worship services are held in one of the theater's spare screening rooms on Sunday mornings, which has worked out relatively well for the congregation — now at about 250 members — the past few years, said the Rev. Ben Kuerth, pastor of the church.

"We've been really blessed to have been at Showtime Cinema for so long," Kuerth said. "The theaters provide a comfortable, neutral environment for Victory of the Lamb … but we've been feeling full there for the last two years, and we're kind of limited to time and space for our services."

Aiming for next winter

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Oak Creek listens to proposals for new fitness center

Dec. 09, 2014 2:22 p.m. | Oak Creek — Mayor Steve Scaffidi said the city is continuing to listen to proposals for a new fitness center according to a post on the city's website and Facebook page called "Q&A with Mayor Steve."

The post reads:

"Donna R.M. asked about the potential for a new fitness center in the city and a link to our Mayor's Fitness Challenge. We are continuing to listen to proposals for a new fitness center in the city, and have even had some early discussion about a recreation center that might provide some fitness options currently not available to our residents.

"Getting people moving has been a focus of the Challenge for the past three years and during that time we've hosted almost 100 events designed for that purpose. We'll continue to explore these options to determine what would work best for all our residents. Stay tuned!"

"Q&A with Mayor Steve" is a recurring feature to answer frequently asked questions from members of the public. It is posted to the city's Facebook page and website.

Franklin man faces arson charge for allegedly starting apartment fire

Dec. 08, 2014 4:25 p.m. | Franklin — A Franklin man is awaiting a preliminary hearing after allegedly attempting to burn down his own apartment.

Justin Nass, 28, was charged with arson by the Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office on Saturday, Dec. 6, after a police investigation revealed the cause of an apartment fire that occurred earlier this month.

Emergency crews responded to a report of fire at Whitnall Pointe Apartments, 10520 W. Cortez Circle, on Monday, Dec. 1.

Responding fire department units reported seeing flames coming from the front door of an upstairs apartment before they put out the fire.

Noticing burns

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Select Hales Corners Library services on hold during carpet project

Dec. 08, 2014 12:58 p.m. | Hales Corners — Certain Hales Corners Public Library services will be temporarily on hold while new carpet is installed this month.

Construction is scheduled for Monday, Dec. 22 through the week of January 12. During this time, the library will remain open Monday through Sunday with regular hours.

During installation, sections of library collections will be inaccessible as furniture is moved around.

The two community meeting rooms, the Hunt Room on the lower level and the Board Room in the library proper, will be closed during the carpet project length.

The free magazine table will not be available during the carpet project. Patrons who donate old magazines are asked to save them in a paper grocery bag and bring them to the library at the end of January.

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Tailgate 'n skate with Santa in Hales Corners

Dec. 08, 2014 11:54 a.m. | Hales Corners — Packer Sunday just got better.

Football fans can watch the Green Bay Packers face the Buffalo Bills on a large screen at the Hales Corners Pool House for a "Tailgate 'n Skate with Santa" event from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 14.

Bring your kids for photos with Santa, ice skating (depending on the weather), last minute holiday shopping with business vendors and a silent auction, and food. Proceeds of the event will benefit the Alyson Dudek International Ice Center.

Attendees can enter their family to win a holiday meal from That's Amoré restaurant.

No new Chapter 220 seats identified in OCFSD for 2015-16

Dec. 04, 2014 2:43 p.m. | Oak Creek — Seventeen open enrollment seats have been identified for the 2015-16 school year in the Oak Creek-Franklin Joint School District, but no new Chapter 220 seats were identified for the first time, possibly ever, according to the school board on Monday, Dec. 1.

While OCFSD does currently enroll Chapter 220 students, Superintendent Sara Burmeister said "I think Chapter 220 is just kind of fading away. It's moving toward open enrollment," she said Monday.

Chapter 220 was created as a voluntary public school integration program in the United States about 40 years ago. One of its goals was to promote cultural and racial integration in education on a voluntary basis without cost to local taxpayers.

Open enrollment was approved by legislature in 1998 to allow parents to enroll their children in any public school district in Wisconsin outside of their resident district.

Chapter 220 is a higher form of funding than open enrollment in the OCFSD district, said Burmeister.

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Arson suspect of Franklin apartment complex fire taken into custody

Dec. 03, 2014 1:40 p.m. | Franklin — The Franklin Police Department reports that a suspect was taken into custody for arson related to an apartment complex fire that occurred Monday, Dec. 1.

Emergency crews responded to a report of a fire at an apartment building on 10548 W. Cortez Circle. Upon arrival of first responders, flames were coming from the patio door of an upper apartment.

The Franklin Fire Department was assisted by response crews from Greendale, Greenfield, Hales Corners, Oak Creek, New Berlin and Tess Corners.

All residents had already evacuated the building when the crews responded to the scene. No serious injuries were reported.

The suspect was a resident of the apartment complex and is currently being held at the Milwaukee County Jail, according to a news release from the police department. Charges are pending.

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Protest stalls Franklin apartment plan

Dec. 02, 2014 10:34 p.m. | Franklin — A proposed 106-unit apartment complex will have to wait, at least until city officials can determine who is complaining about the prospect.

During a recent meeting, the common council received about 124 petitioners against plans for the Hickory Grove apartment complex at the proposed site, on 51st Street and Cobblestone Way. Before the council can take action regarding, city staff will have to authenticate the names on the petitions.

Franklin Square LLC, an entity of Burke Properties, proposed the high-end apartment complex at a November council meeting.

It became clear early on that, in order to accommodate the development, the city would first have to amend its Comprehensive Master Plan and the area's Planned Development District No. 25 — planning documents that map out the city's designated use and zoning restrictions.

Key dissension

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Fire at Franklin apartment building under investigation

Dec. 01, 2014 10:03 p.m. | Investigators are attempting to determine the cause of a fire that struck an apartment building in Franklin Monday.

The fire was reported shortly after 4 p.m. at 10548 W. Cortez Circle, according to a news release from the Franklin Police Department.

No injuries were reported in the release, which provided no additional details on the blaze.

In more schools, going to class means heading to the woods

Nov. 26, 2014 7:46 p.m. | A dozen students in Julie Hahm's advanced placement environmental science class are out in the woods, measuring the circumference of trees and identifying their species.

It's a brisk November morning, and the Greendale High School sophomores and juniors are learning how to calculate the age of a tree without chopping it down and counting rings. By knowing the age of a sample of trees, they can calculate how much carbon dioxide the plants take in and how much oxygen is released. Hahm will help students map and extrapolate their findings to represent the entire forest.

"That's the way real foresters do it, so that's how they'll do it, too," Hahm said.

The lesson is part of a yearlong effort to calculate the carbon footprint of the school district. Next year's goal is even more ambitious: finding ways to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

And the key: The school owns the outdoor classroom. All 2.5 acres of it.

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