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8-Twelve benefit raises thousands for Azana victims' families

Nov. 19, 2012 12:56 p.m. | A benefit held at 8-Twelve Restaurant to raise money for the Azana Salon shooting victims' families brought in nearly $62,000 last week.

Omar Shaikh, co-owner of SURG Restaurant Group, which sponsored the event, said the event more than doubled the organizers' goal of $30,000.

8-Twelve Restaurant partners Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers and Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers came up with the idea for the benefit and donated several autographed items to the silent auction.

Other items were donated by Kohl's Department Stores, the Milwaukee Bucks, the Milwaukee Wave and others.

Three women were killed and four others were wounded when Radcliff Haughton walked into the spa and opened fire Oct. 21. The deaths left eight children without mothers.

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Big 4th quarter sparks BC victory

Dec. 16, 2014 11:36 p.m. | Brookfield Central coach Mallory Liebl knew playing a good Brookfield East team would be tough Dec. 16 at home, the first time she would face the Spartans as the Lancers new head coach.

And for three quarters it was just that, as Central went into the fourth quarter with the game tied at 29-29. But Central went on an 18-5 run and ended up running away with a 47-34 victory.

“It’s huge,” Liebl said. “It’s so exciting for the girls.They were so ready for this game. I’m so happy for them. I’m proud of them and I am so happy they were able to get this game tonight. It’s always a good win when you can pull one out against our crosstown rivals.”

Rachel Kolb came out and hit a free throw to start the fourth quarter and Caroline Busch put in a rebound before Cami Cross stole the ball and scored for East to cut the lead to 32-31.

But then East went on a 14-0 run to put the game out of reach. Kathryn Stief put in a big rebound basket to get the run started with 3:55 left to play and then nailed a 3-pointer for a 37-31 lead.

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Central boys pull away in fourth quarter

Dec. 16, 2014 11:34 p.m. | Brookfield Central basketball coach Dan Wandrey had been here before — facing crosstown rival Brookfield East — but this time it was as the boys basketball coach.

The Lancers won 56-45 to even their Greater Metro Conference record at 1-1, the same league mark as the Spartans. Central is now 3-1, while East fell to 3-2 overall.

When asked how it felt to beat his conference rival coaching the boys now, Wandrey shrugged and gave a candid answer.

“It’s the same, but there were more people in the gym,” the longtime girls basketball coach said. “While watching the girls play, I said to my assistant, ‘It’s a little quiet in here.’

“All the kids come to this game — they circle the date on the calendar — they have their friends and they text and they twitter. All those things together, it adds a lot to these games, the girls and the boys. Everyone is laying it on the line.”

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Council approves key steps for luxury apartment project

Dec. 16, 2014 11:32 p.m. | For years the city of Brookfield has been talking about a need for more housing options. This year has seen a handful of new apartment projects presented and approved by officials.

On Tuesday night, the city's Common Council continued the trend, approving zoning and land use amendments for what is projected to be the largest apartment building within the municipality.

The Reserve, a 194-unit luxury apartment project planned for a vacant parcel of Bishop's Woods on Bluemound Road, was recommended for approval to the council by the city's Plan Commission.

The Reserve would be a four-story structure with a parking garage located within the interior of the apartment building.

The property was previously listed in the city's 2035 Comprehensive Plan as having a future land use of: Employment Focused – Lower Density, but the council changed that Tuesday night to Mixed-Use Focused – Higher Density. Similarly, the council approved rezoning the parcel from Office and Limited Industrial District to a Planned Development District – General Plan. The Planned Development District will allow the developers, Campbell Capital Group LLC and Atlantic Realty Partners Inc. to exceed the city's normal floor area ratio limitation of 30 percent.

Brookfield Central alum publishes first book

Dec. 16, 2014 5:54 p.m. | A Brookfield Central High School graduate has done quite a bit in the years since she graduated in 2000.

Kersti Niebruegge's journey as a writer reached its next chapter last week when she published her first book: "Mistake, Wisconsin."

The book is a realistic fiction novel aimed at young adults that satirizes a small town in Niebruegge's home state.

"It's set deep in the Northwoods. Someone has been stealing mailboxes and it's up to our high school sophomore, Megan, to figure out what's going on," Niebruegge said.

"Mistake, Wisconsin" is a portrait of a typical small town in Wisconsin filled with humor and oddball characters. Niebruegge admits that she drew plenty from herself and her own life experience into the novel's protagonist.

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Brookfield cheer squad dances way to worlds

Dec. 14, 2014 11:18 p.m. | Both Wisconsin and the United States of America will be represented by a group of cheerleaders from Brookfield this winter.

The Junior Lancer Cheer Titanium Cheer Squad has earned the right to compete at the International Cheer Union School World Cheerleading Championships on Feb. 8 in Orlando, Fla.

The squad represents the first middle school/recreational cheer team from the state of Wisconsin to earn the distinction of performing at the international event.

In addition to the world's competition, the Junior Lancer team will also be competing over the same weekend as a part of the Universal Cheerleading Association National High School Championships.

The team is currently ranked 7th in the nation and is seeking businesses and individuals to come on board as sponsors for their trip to Florida.

Brookfield Elementary reports cases of strep throat

Dec. 10, 2014 2:39 p.m. | Brookfield Elementary School, 2530 N. Brookfield Road, has identified multiple cases of strep throat, particularly in the first grade, this week.

The school posted information regarding the incidents of strep throat on its website Dec. 9.

Strep throat, a bacterial infection, is often associated with fevers, sore throats and stomach aches. Once diagnosed, the infection is treated with a throat swab and antibiotics.

"Our custodial staff has been made aware of these cases, and have taken extra precautions and measures to thoroughly clean and disinfect common areas in our school," the school reported on its website. "Children may return to school 24 hours after they have started the antibiotics to prevent the spread of germs to others. Frequent hand washing is recommended as well."

Information about strep throat can be found on the website.

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Elmbrook School District approves fee-based preschool option, registration to open Feb. 5

Dec. 09, 2014 9:59 p.m. | The Elmbrook School District will offer a new, fee-based preschool option this fall, after the school board unanimously approved the proposal on Dec. 9.

Preschool has been a debated issue within the school district for several years due to opposition of a pre-kindergarten service funded by taxpayers.

"This (preschool) issue has long been one that this board has questioned and challenged," said School Board President Tom Gehl, "but you (administrators) figured out how to solve it; you figured it out."

The Elmbrook Preschool will not be a 4K program, which provides universal access to early education for students within the district. Instead, the preschool will be funded through enrollment fees.

The preschool will be held in at Dixon Elementary School, 2400 Pilgrim Square Drive, for three hours a day, five days a week. A morning session and an afternoon session will be offered.

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Elmbrook Humane Society waives adoption fees for the holidays thanks to donation

Dec. 09, 2014 7:11 p.m. | Families looking to add a new, furry member to their homes this holiday season have another reason to pay a visit to the Elmbrook Humane Society.

Starting this week and running through Jan. 4, 2015, the humane society is waiving all of its regular adoption fees for all of its animals.

The promotion is made possible by a gift from the Kass family and Skylark Vending which was extended to the Milwaukee Area Domestic Animal Care and Control Commission, the Wisconsin Humane Society, and now also the Elmbrook Humane Society.

"When you go into these shelters you see how lonely the animals are. What gets me is that the politicians don't give funds for the animals. There's lots of entitlement (programs), but not for the animals," Skylark Founder and President Stanley Kass said. "These animals are not getting enough help."

Kass declined to quantify the total amount of the donation that will make the promotion possible for all organizations involved, but Elmbrook Humane Society Executive Director Heather Gehrke estimates that it could come out to an amount as high as $12,000.

Wheelchair athletes finally get home games

Dec. 09, 2014 4:44 p.m. | The athletes of the Milwaukee Heat Wheelchair Basketball team often have to travel hundreds of miles to compete.

This weekend, Head Coach Bob Anger and his players are excited to be able to stay close to home for a change courtesy of the first edition of the Big Cheese Classic, to be hosted at Brookfield Central High School.

The tournament will mark the fourth competition of the season for the Heat. The team usually plays around 7 or 8 tournaments per year and travels extensively to do so. Teams joining the Heat at Brookfield Central this weekend will be coming from as far as Omaha, Neb.

The Big Cheese Classic will feature a dozen wheelchair basketball squads composed of a mix of high school, youth, and adult teams competing across both Saturday and Sunday.

"It's really huge. I'm so excited for the kids to have this opportunity. A lot of the families have never seen the kids play because we have to travel so much," Head Coach Bob Anger said. "Now we're going to be playing in our own backyard and that's great."

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Elmbrook Humane Society waives adoption fees for the holidays

Dec. 08, 2014 1:22 p.m. | The Elmbrook Humane Society is waiving all adoption fees for its animals until Thursday, Jan. 4.

The adoption waivers are sponsored by a gift donation the society received from Skylark Automatic Vending, a Milwaukee vending machine distributor.

Milwaukee Area Domestic Animal Care and Control Commission and the Wisconsin Humane Society have offered similar promotions thanks to donations received from the Kass family of Skylark Vending as well.

The Elmbrook Humane Society asks anyone considering pet adoption to visit by Jan. 4.

"This is a fantastic opportunity to enrich your life through adoption," Heather Gehrke, executive director of the humane society, stated in a news release. "Through this gift by the Kass family, you have an opportunity to forgo the adoption fee, which allows you the opportunity to invest the money saved for other needs, such as training, care and supplies."

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United Way agencies in Milwaukee, Waukesha announce merger

Dec. 04, 2014 3:50 p.m. | United Way of Greater Milwaukee and United Way in Waukesha County announced Thursday that they have merged to create a single agency.

The new agency will be known as United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County.

The merger follows a long-standing practice of both groups fundraising in eastern Waukesha County communities, from Menomonee Falls to Brookfield, New Berlin and Muskego.

And it comes at the request of large corporate donors with business operations in the two counties, said Mary Lou Young, president and CEO of the new organization. Young has served five years as president and CEO of United Way of Greater Milwaukee.

Those corporations asked United Way to streamline the process for them, Young said. So in August 2013, Young said she contacted her counterpart in Waukesha County and asked the question: How can we serve our customers better?

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Sharon Lynne Wilson Center to celebrate its first published book, 'The Fire Keepers'

Dec. 04, 2014 2:58 p.m. | The Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts will celebrate the publication of its first book, "The Fire Keepers," with a Book Launch Party on December 12.

"The Fire Keepers" is a fictional story about a young girl living in Brookfield during the 19th century with "fantastical creatures she encounters while on adventures with her feline friend," according to a news release.

The book is written by Susan Lawton, a local author who was a Pfister Artist in Residence finalist in 2013. "The Fire Keepers" is her second book, following the self-published, "The Circus and the Cyclone."

The Book Launch Party will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Wilson Center, 19805 W. Capitol Drive. The party will include a meet-and-greet and book signing by Lawton. Copies of the book and prints of the illustrations will be on sale at the event. Refreshments and musical entertainment will be provided.

Tickets for the event are free, but reservations are required by December 10. To reserve a ticket, visit www.wilson-center.com/calendar/book-launch.

As family dealership owner, she's the top 'nice guy' at Soerens Ford

Nov. 29, 2014 1:23 p.m. | Brookfield — A family Ford dealership here is owned by a "nice guy" who just gave birth to her third child.

As the fourth-generation owner of Soerens Ford, Stephanie Soerens-Borkowski holds a spot in a growing demographic in the U.S. new vehicle business. She is a woman who is the dealer principal, also known as the boss.

Soerens-Borkowski has taken over leadership of Soerens Ford, a nearly 100-year-old dealership known to generations of Milwaukeeans by the tagline in its advertisements, the "Home of the Nice Guys."

She has taken over for her dad, Bob Soerens, who now serves as a consultant to the dealership. ("Every once in a while, I still get consulted," he said.)

"Even though he's retired, we're still learning this business together," Soerens-Borkowski said. "It's changing all the time."

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Woman who left gun in Brookfield church faces new charge

Nov. 28, 2014 12:11 p.m. | Eight months after an Oconomowoc woman left her loaded handgun in a Brookfield church restroom, she is facing a new criminal charge, while her husband will likely avoid prosecution for a similar incident at a Door County amusement park.

Susan Hitchler, 67, beat the initial charge of negligent handling of a weapon when a Waukesha County judge dismissed a criminal complaint in June.

Now, a prosecutor has charged Hitchler with disorderly conduct.Gun rights advocates say Hitchler turned down an offer to avoid the charge if she would give up her concealed carry permit and forfeit her Ruger .380-caliber gun.

Like the earlier charge, disorderly conduct is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 90 days in jail. The maximum fine for disorderly conduct is $1,000, however, compared to $10,000 for the negligent handling charge.

The leader of a gun rights advocacy group calls the decision "misguided prosecutorial overreach," a waste of government resources.

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Elm Grove approves 2015 budget, 1.03 percent levy increase

Nov. 25, 2014 11:35 a.m. | The village of Elm Grove's Board of Trustees voted with unanimous approval in favor of adopting the village's 2015 budget at its meeting Monday night.

The budget includes a 1.03 percent tax levy increase. For the average Elm Grove homeowner, with a residence valued at $425,610, that will represent an increase of approximately $58 on the village portion of their property tax bill. The same resident would also see an increase of $29.34 for sewer, storm water, and garbage fees.

The total tax levy in 2015 will amount to $6,646,855, a $68,035 increase over 2014. The state levy limit would have allowed the village to increase its levy by as much as $129,500.

Total expenses for the village in 2015 are projected at $10,348,082.

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