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From Miss St. Francis to Mrs. Claus, relive the year in pictures

Dec. 27, 2011 9:43 a.m. | We have just posted our collection of News Photos of the Year and Sports Photos of the Year as selected by NOW staff photojournalists C.T. Kruger and Peter Zuzga.

Browse the galleries to see images from some of the most newsworthy events of the past 12 months. You will also find some of the quieter, but no less photogenic events captured by our award-winning staff.

We also invite you to visit the links below to take a look back at the five most popular NOW photo galleries of 2011:

2011 Track and Field State Meet

Miss St. Francis pageant

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Student writing contest entries due today

March 27, 2015 7:10 a.m. | Entries to Community Newspapers' student writing contest is 5 p.m. today, Friday, March 27. Students, imagine you're the last person on earth. Write a story about what it would be like and what you would do and feel. Drop off entries at our Waukesha office, 1741 Dolphin Drive, Suite A. Be sure to include your name, age, home address, phone number, grade and school. (Address and phone number will be used to notify winners and distribute prizes; they will not be published.) Email entries will not be accepted. Entries will be divided into two categories: grades three through five, and six through eight. Cash prizes will be awarded; winners will be published in Brookfield-Elm Grove Now and Wauwatosa Now this spring. Good luck!

Brookfield may alter zoning to make city more welcoming to health clubs

March 24, 2015 10:57 p.m. | The city of Brookfield is looking into changing its definition of intensive uses in its zoning code to exclude health clubs and fitness centers.

The topic arose among city staff because of the possibility of Planet Fitness moving into a vacancy at Capitol Plaza.

"The last couple of years their tenant in that space in the short term has been Halloween Express," Brookfield economic development coordinator Tim Casey said. "They've been in touch with us since about 2014 and have indicated to us that they have an opportunity to lease that space to Planet Fitness."

Casey, director of community development Dan Ertl, and other staff decided to consider amending the city's definition of intensive uses in order to make it easier for Planet Fitness and other health clubs and fitness centers to move to Brookfield.

"We've had an awful lot of small fitness centers and health clubs come into the city. Most of them (are) pretty small in terms of square footage and pretty small in terms of the number of users," Casey said.

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Elm Grove establishes committee to explore fiber internet

March 24, 2015 10:07 p.m. | The idea of fiber networks seems to be contagious in the Elmbrook area.

The city of Brookfield and Elmbrook School District are looking to partner together on a dark fiber network and now residents in the village of Elm Grove have approached village officials with the idea of bringing fiber internet to Elm Grove to be used by residents and businesses.

Last week Monday Elm Grove resident Ted Eull presented information to the village's Public Works/Utilities Committee and explained the advantages of fiber internet service vs. coaxial cable. Eull asked the committee to explore the possibility of bringing fiber service to the village.

At Monday's Board of Trustees meeting, the village formally approved the forming of an ad hoc committee to explore the topic.

Elm Grove church irks residents with cell tower proposal

March 24, 2015 7:07 p.m. | A group of residents are fighting a proposal by Elm Grove Lutheran Church to erect a cell tower on the church's property.

Neighbors worry that the 115-foot tower will lead to lower property values in the area and also could be aesthetically unpleasant. Efforts against the erecting of the tower have been led by resident Jan Termuehlen.

"It's everything. I think it's detrimental to the neighborhood in general. Having a 115-foot cell tower poking up above everything else is, I don't think, conducive to the feel of the neighborhood," Termuehlen said.

Termuehlen also cited a belief that some people hold that close proximity to cell towers can be damaging to health, although he admitted that he does not know of proof of such a theory.

"There's the potential for fears of living under a cell tower. Whether it's real or not, if you have a mom with three kids, do you think she would rather live under a cell tower or not under a cell tower?" Temuehlen said.

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Marcus looking into exiting Corners project

March 24, 2015 6:07 p.m. | The Marcus Corp. may be exiting as a stakeholder in The Corners in the near future, after recouping its costs.

During an earnings conference call last week, Marcus chief financial officer Doug Neis touched on the possibility.

"Like any typical agreement, there are provisions that could allow for an exit and we'll see how that plays out," Neis said.

Neis noted that Marcus is uncertain of when that exit might take place.

"It could be within a reasonable timeframe after opening, but it doesn't have to be. There's a potential for it to be as early as the year after it opens, but it also could, under a variety of different conditions, continue for awhile," Neis said. "It really is not determined at this point in time. I can't tell you when it's going to be."

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Wheelchair basketball team heading to Nationals

March 24, 2015 11:47 a.m. | The Milwaukee Heat wheelchair basketball team enjoyed a triumph on home soil last weekend at the Midwest Conference Junior 10' Championship held at Brookfield East High School.

The team topped the Grand Rapids Jr. Pacers 57 - 31 to win the title and will now head to nationals in Louisville, Kentucky as the 4th-seed.

"It was fantastic. It was really rewarding to achieve this next level for our program," Heat head coach Bob Anger said. "It was our first Midwest Conference championship and to be able to do it at home was just great."

A trio of Heat players received tournament honors including Laura Vacek, who was named to the all-tournament team, Mark Krenz, who was named Male Most Valuable Player, and Emily Oberst, who was named Female Most Valuable Player.

Brookfield girl may have been locked in basement by parents

March 24, 2015 11:32 a.m. | A Brookfield couple is being investigated after a fellow parent reported to police that they may have been keeping their 13-year-old daughter locked in the basement.

The complaint went on to allege that the couple, a mother and stepfather, also forced the girl to wear a diaper and that she often attended school covered in feces.

The concerns were originally reported to city of Brookfield police by the anonymous complainant on March 3.

In the weeks since the original report, Brookfield police say that at least part of the disturbing story reported by the call has panned out.

"We've been able to verify some of the information, but we've also been able to discover that some of the information may not be as complete or accurate as originally thought," Brookfield Police Captain Phil Horter said earlier this month.

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Brookfield man charged with knife attack on mother, sister

March 24, 2015 11:17 a.m. | A Brookfield man faces up to 20 years in prison after being arrested and charged on two counts of second degree recklessly endangering safety and domestic abuse.

City of Brookfield Police were called to a residence in the 2900 block of Monterey Boulevard on March 16 and advised that 19-year-old Jonathan Novak had threatened his mother and sister with a knife.

Novak had allegedly been having an argument with one of his sisters in the basement when he initially picked up a knife. He later turned his attack on his mother and struck another one of his sisters before leaving the scene in his family's vehicle. He turned himself in to police the next day.

The Sprint Episode Three: WIAA state basketball tournament retrospective

March 23, 2015 6:00 p.m. | The WIAA state basketball tournament featured a number of local entrants, with two bringing home gold balls and another grabbing silver:

Elm Grove new garbage and recycling service to begin April 1

March 23, 2015 5:57 p.m. | The village of Elm Grove's new contract with John's Disposal for garbage and recycling services will begin on Wednesday, April 1.

Residents will be receiving a new, 32-gallon recycling bin which can now be used for all recyclables due to the county's switch to single-stream recycling.

Garbage collection will remain the same and both services are still up-the-drive.

One change for Elm Grove residents will be that those who currently have their trash and recycling picked up on Tuesdays will now have them collected on Thursdays. Those who have their waste collected on Mondays and Wednesdays will see no change.

Part of Pilgrim Parkway to close this weekend

March 23, 2015 5:43 p.m. | Pilgrim Parkway near Watertown Plank Road will be closed to traffic this weekend.

The village of Elm Grove says that the road will be closed starting at 9 p.m. and could remain that way through Monday morning.

The closure is due to the need to replace a pair of culverts in the 700 block of Pilgrim Parkway that failed last fall.

The village is contracting with All-Ways Contractors for the work.

Tickets now on sale for Brookfield Central's production of "The Foreigner"

March 19, 2015 10:12 a.m. | Tickets are now available for Brookfield Central High School's upcoming production of "The Foreigner."

Performances will be held at 7 p.m. from April 22 through April 25 and on May 1 and 2 at the school, 16900 W. Gebhardt Road.

Tickets cost $12 per adult and $8 per student or senior.

On April 30, the school will offer a special performance for senior citizens at 3 p.m.

For more information, contact Honore Schiro at or by calling (262) 785-3910, ext. 111.

Suspects in fatal Citgo gas station shooting in Waukesha all plead not guilty

March 18, 2015 5:36 p.m. | All three suspects tied to the Citgo gas station homicide pleaded not guilty in court last week.

A hearing for Darinn Malone has now been scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Friday, April 10, and for Kenneth Thomas and Jerica Cotton at 9 a.m. Monday, April 20, before Waukesha County Circuit Court Judge Lloyd Carter, according to online court records.

Thomas, accused of shooting Citgo gas station clerk Saeed Sharwani in January, is charged with first-degree intentional homicide, armed robbery and possessing a firearm by a felon.

The court had previously bound the three over for trial after the court found probable cause at a preliminary hearing earlier this month.

Thomas, 19, and Malone, wearing green Halloween masks, allegedly went into the Citgo gas station, 1445 Whiterock Ave., Waukesha, on Jan. 13 with a gun. According to the complaint, Thomas went behind the counter to access the cash. When Sharwani came around the counter the gun went off, Thomas told police.

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Elmbrook School District names new Wisconsin Hills Principal

March 18, 2015 1:04 p.m. | A former member of the Pewaukee School District will now lead as principal of Wisconsin Hills Middle School.

The Elmbrook School Board named Lisa Rettler as the middle school's principal on March 17.

Rettler has served as Associate Principal of Asa Clark Middle School in Pewaukee for the past five years. Before that, she taught French in the Waukesha School District for 14 years.

"After a comprehensive interview process, Ms. Rettler emerged as an exceptional leader with deep and relevant experience," Elmbrook Superintendent Mark Hansen stated in a news release. "Lisa's expertise in Literacy, Personalized Learning and Continuous Improvement aligns very well to the priority work of Wisconsin Hills Middle School on its journey from great to greater."

Rettler was recognized as the Associate Principal of the Year in 2014. She also helped the Pewaukee School District earn the Malcolm Baldridge National Award the same year.

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Wheelchair basketball conference championship coming to Brookfield

March 17, 2015 12:16 p.m. | Less than five months ago, wheelchair basketball athletes in the Milwaukee-area had not had the luxury of a home game in a long time.

Now, they're getting ready for their third appearance in Brookfield since December.

The Milwaukee Heat Wheelchair Basketball team will play host to 18 other teams from around the region as it teams up with IndependenceFirst and the National Wheelchair Basketball Association (NWBA) to host the Midwest Conference Championship this weekend at Brookfield East High School.

The conference championships will represent the second large tournament hosted in Brookfield in recent months. The team hosted the first ever Big Cheese Classic. The Heat were also able to play two games close to home on Feb. 28 at St. Dominic Church.

The tournament will stretch from 9 a.m. - 8 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. on Sunday. The Heat are scheduled to begin their pursuit of their maiden conference title at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday and will also take to the court again later that afternoon at 3:30 p.m.

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