Loaded handgun found left in Elmbrook Church bathroom

March 28, 2014 8:15 a.m. | A semiautomatic handgun loaded with a full magazine, with the safety in the fire position, was found in a bathroom at Elmbrook Church about noon March 19.

According to the town of Brookfield police report:

The handgun was found on top of a feminine disposal can in a bathroom at Elmbrook Church, 777 S. Barker Road, about noon March 19.

During that time, the "Beyond the Books" program was running for parents and their home-schooled kids from first to fifth grade who had access to the bathroom.

A volunteer teacher at the church later called looking for her weapon, which she said she had set down in the bathroom and accidentally left behind. She told police she is normally very careful and was told she could recover the gun the next day.

Ponto's campaign funding three times that of Speaker

March 26, 2014 9:02 a.m. | The campaign finance reports for Mayor Steve Ponto and former mayor Jeff Speaker, who are competing for election April 1, are starkly different, with Ponto's running 29 pages and Speaker's ending at Page 4.

Between January and March 24, when the reports were due, Ponto's campaign raised $9,834 and spent $3,518. Speaker raised $2,750 and spent $599. Ponto went into the period already with $10,297. Speaker started with $2,134.

Speaker's campaign had 16 donors, all but three of whom are Brookfield residents. Some are heads of businesses: Rodney Reineke, chief financial officer for KPH Construction Corp.; Keith Harenda, president of KPH; and Brian Nelson, owner of ICM Corp. The donations range from $100 to $375.

Ponto's 228 donations are also mostly from Brookfield residents and range from $25 to $375. Business leaders on his list include Ned Purtell, owner of RFP Commercial; John Silseth, president of Antietam; and Dhirendra Dhir, owner of DHIR Group.

Other notable figures who donated to Ponto include School Board President Tom Gehl; Mushir Hassan, a leader in establishing a mosque in Brookfield; Elmbrook Rotary Club President Gary Zwirlein; and at least six current aldermen: Jeff McCarthy, Rick Owen, Renee Lowerr, Gary Mahkorn, Bill Carnell and Bob Reddin. Ponto said these donations came from his St. Patrick's Day party, which asked for a $25 suggested donation.

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Crews clear crash that closed left westbound lane of I-94 at Calhoun Road

March 20, 2014 12:02 p.m. | Crews have cleared a crash that closed the left westbound lane of Interstate 94 at Calhoun Road in Brookfield. The lane reopened about 11:55 a.m. after about 45 minutes.

Police called when man mistakenly sends zombie app selfie to woman

March 20, 2014 11:13 a.m. | A woman called police when a man who was trying to send a selfie of himself as a zombie to his cousin sent it to her instead March 11.

According to the Elm Grove police report:

The man was trying to send a selfie to his cousin through an app called The Walking Dead Dead Yourself, which makes users look like zombies. But he accidentally sent it to a Brookfield woman, who called police about 6:30 p.m. March 11, saying it looked like the man had been assaulted.

Police contacted the man, who explained what happened and apologized for scaring the woman.

Kratoska to run as write-in for Elmbrook at-large seat

March 18, 2014 8:41 p.m. | A Brookfield resident has announced that he will run as a write-in candidate for the Elmbrook School District's at-large seat in the April 1 spring election.

Jim Kratoska will run against incumbent Kathryn Wilson, who was previously running opposed for the seat.

Kratoska's business experience includes project management, team building, financial management and six-sigma process improvement. His degrees include a bachelor of science degree in applied mathematics and physics and master's degrees in business administration and philosophy.

His campaign platform emphasizes a critical approach to the state's Common Core standards.

Discussion of Underground Railroad on tap Monday at Brookfield library

March 16, 2014 12:41 p.m. | Information regarding the Elmbrook Historical Society presenting Christopher Paulson, executive director of the Racine Heritage Museum, as he speaks about the Underground Railroad, the abolitionist movement and Wisconsin's role was incorrect in Thursday's issue of Brookfield-Elm Grove NOW.

He will speak at 7 p.m. Monday at the Brookfield Public Library.

The event is free.

We regret the error.

Oak Creek defense shuts down Lancers, 46-25

March 15, 2014 4:10 p.m. | For Oak Creek girls basketball coach Steve Hluchnik the third time was the charm.

Hluchnik has been coaching the Knights girls basketball team for five seasons and he has reached the sectional finals three times. On Saturday at West Allis Central - his old haunting grounds - Hluchnik's team took the next step and easily defeated Brookfield Central, 46-25, to win his first sectional championship and head to next week's WIAA State Girls Basketball Tournament.

Oak Creek began three of four quarters with a run - 10-0 to start the game; 7-0 to begin the second half and 8-0 to start the final quarter.

Both West Allis Central and Racine Case in the regional and Franklin in the sectional semifinal kept the game close for one quarter, so Hluchnik stressed getting off to a fast start.

"I didn't want to talk about it at practice and make it an issue," he said, "but I think it showed coming out today that they were ready."

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Residents safe but pets lost in Brookfield house fire

March 14, 2014 3:11 p.m. | Residents are safe, but two household pets were lost in a house fire last night at 13045 Scarlet Drive in Brookfield, according to David Mason, City of Brookfield assistant fire chief.

According to a statement issued by Mason:

Residents called 911 at 7:46 p.m. March 13 to report smoke and fire in the basement. The New Berlin Fire Department was closest and responded first. The residents safely evacuated the home before firefighters arrived.

Joined by the city of Brookfield Fire Department, firefighters hosed the house and took about 45 minutes to put out the fire, which spread from the basement to other areas of the house and caused significant damage. Neighboring homes were unharmed.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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Central girls beat DSHA for third time, 45-43

March 13, 2014 8:42 p.m. | Divine Savior Holy Angels had an answer for most everything it saw this season. But not Brookfield Central.

Central rallied from a 9-point deficit to defeat DSHA, 45-43, in the WIAA sectional semifinal on Thursday at Brookfield East.

The win for Central (21-4) sets up a sectional championship match with Oak Creek (23-2), both top seeded in their bracket. Game time is 2 p.m. Saturday afternoon at West Allis Central. DSHA finishes the year with a conference title and a 20-5 record, with three of its losses coming to the Lancers.

"They won the conference for a reason," Central coach Dan Wandrey said. "They're real good. But basketball is a game of matchups, and we match up pretty good with them."

Central trailed, 31-22, with 4:16 left in the third quarter, when senior Nicole Hinz drained a long 3-pointer and Jasmine Lewis closed out the quarter with a jumper, cutting the lead to 31-27 going into the fourth quarter.

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Waukesha County Executive Dan Vrakas reveals he has prostate cancer

March 11, 2014 10:42 p.m. | Waukesha County Executive Dan Vrakas revealed Tuesday he has been diagnosed with prostate cancer and might begin treatment as early as next week in San Diego.

The treatment will not interfere with his ability to perform his duties as county executive, Vrakas said in a statement.

Tests confirmed the cancer several weeks ago, according to Vrakas.

"It is not believed the cancer has spread beyond my prostate," he said. "I feel lucky the cancer was detected when it was, and that I will soon begin treatment and get on the path to recovery."

"I strongly encourage men to have annual physicals and to consult their doctor" to determine the need for additional medical screening, Vrakas said. He said his prostate cancer was indicated in tests of blood samples collected during a routine medical checkup in late January.

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Lancers name Jed Kennedy football coach

March 11, 2014 2:52 p.m. | For 11 years Jed Kennedy made decisions based on his football coaching career. When he recently accepted the Brookfield Central head football position, his family came first.

Kennedy, the former State Coach of the Year when he led Kenosha Bradford to the state championship in 2011, has been married to his wife, Melissa, for 11 years and has two girls, Makenna, 8, and Shaelyn, 5. He praised the Elmbrook School District, the community and the program when doing his first interview with the local media.

"The main thing was the opportunity it presented for my family," Kennedy said. "For the first 11 years my decisions were made for my career in football. This move was the best for my family.

"The Elmbrook school system is second to none. The Brookfield community is awesome. As for football, the Brookfield Central program is one of the best big-school jobs in the state."

Todd Sobrilsky, the Lancers athletic and activities director, is thrilled with Kennedy's hiring.

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Mark Adams steps down as Lancers boys basketball coach

March 10, 2014 4:01 p.m. | Brookfield Central boys basketball coach Mark Adams told his players his afternoon that he is stepping down as head coach after 14 years as a head coach and 26 years overall at BCHS.

The Lancers just finished the season 24-1, the best record in school history, but fell two victories short of going to the state tournament.

Adams last game was a 77-74 loss in overtime Thursday in the WIAA Sectional Semifinal to Milwaukee King, who went on to the state tournament by beating Racine Case in the title game Saturday.

Adams had a 242-90 record, an excellent .729 winning mark with two outright conference titles (2002-2003, 2013-14) and two co-championships (2012-2013, 2001-02).

He took the team to the state tournament six times in 2001 (0-1), 2002 (1-1), 2003 (0-1), 2006 (0-1), 2007 (0-1) and 2008 (1-1).

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Lancer girls edge Riverside, 42-37, to win regional championship

March 08, 2014 9:04 p.m. | There will be a new state champion in Division 1 girls basketball.

Brookfield Central started fast in the first and third quarters and went on to defeat Milwaukee Riverside, 42-37, Saturday night at home to win the WIAA regional championship.

The Lancers (20-4) now face Divine Savior Holy Angels (20-4) Thursday at 7 p.m. at Brookfield East. Central beat Greater Metro Conference Champion DSHA twice, the Dashers' only conference losses.

Regional title

Central jumped off to a 12-4 first quarter lead behind senior guard Lydia Rohde, who scored 5 points. The Tigers then started pressing the Lancers in the second quarter and exploded on 9-0 run on the way to a 21-5 period and a 25-17 halftime lead.

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King ends Lancers season for second year in a row, 77-74

March 06, 2014 11:17 p.m. | For the second year in a row, Milwaukee King ended Brookfield Central’s boys basketball season. And for the second year in a row, it was the 3-point shot that killed the Lancers.

The Generals won a thriller, 77-74, before close to 3,000 fans in a packed Brookfield East Fieldhouse, and advanced to the WIAA Sectional Final on Saturday against Racine Case at 4 p.m. at West Allis Central.

The Generals sank 11 3-pointers, six by senior Curtis Weathers, who finished with a game high 22 points, and three by junior Jordan Poole, which accounted for all nine of his points. 

But in the end, it was 6-foot, 4 inch senior forward Chris Howell who did in the Lancers, scoring 13 second-half points, including seven in overtime as he scored three baskets in the paint.

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Midwest Beads to open at Sendik's Towne Centre in Brookfield

March 04, 2014 11:23 a.m. | MIdwest Beads, a store for bead enthusiasts, plans to open Friday at Sendik's Towne Centre in Brookfield.

Midwest Beads will offer classes for all skill levels of beaders. It will provide jewelry repair, work tables and advice along with products. 

"We are thrilled to have Midwest Beads join our popular neighborhood shopping center," Andrew Schrage, leasing agent for Phillips Edison & Co., said in a statement. "They have wonderful owner-operators catering to a wide age range of customers who will generate additional traffic for the center for years to come."

MIdwest Beads will occupy more than 2,000 square feet at 19111 W. Capitol Drive, next to Massage Envy and Wangard Investment Group. 

The store is expected to open Friday, with hours from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday.

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Milwaukeeans share paczki on social media

March 04, 2014 10:58 a.m. |

It's Fat Tuesday, which means paczki for a lot of Milwaukeeans.
Coworkers brought boxes full of the annual treat into offices around the suburban area. People lined up to wait for theirs despite the snow.

Here's a look at how some people are celebrating in the MyCommunityNOW social media story.

Free People, Madewell, C. Wonder among possible Corners stores

March 03, 2014 7:00 a.m. | Free People, Madewell and C. Wonder are among the retail chains that are considering opening their first Milwaukee-area stores at The Corners development planned for the Town of Brookfield.

That's according to a document I've obtained which lists prospective stores, restaurants and other commercial tenants at The Corners, which Marcus Corp. and its partners plan to develop north of I-94 and east of Barker Road.

The Corners would be anchored by a 140,000-square-door Von Maur department store. It would include dozens of additional commercial tenants, totaling around 250,000 square feet, as well as around 155 apartments.

Marcus in December announced the names of some of the tenants that would be joining Von Maur. They included operations new to Wisconsin: Arhaus Furniture, Brio Tuscan Grille, Crave Restaurant and Grimaldi's Pizzeria.

Other tenants announced were Cafe Benelux, Colectivo Coffee, Chico's, Hot Mama, Kilwins and White House Black Market.

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Lancers clobber Milwaukee South, 80-42

March 01, 2014 8:52 p.m. | Brookfield Central started fast and rolled to an 80-42 win over Milwaukee South on Saturday in the Lancers final home game of the season, as Riley LaChance finished with 28 points, 24 in the first half.

The Lancers (24-0) will now play second-seeded Milwaukee King (22-2) on Thursday at 7 p.m. at Brookfield East. King beat Milwaukee Riverside, 76-61, on Saturday night.

Central led, 22-6, against South after one quarter and 42-13 at intermission as LaChance scored 8 in the first quarter and had 16 of Central's 20 second-quarter points.

Central cooled off in the second half, but still outscored the Cardinals, 38-29, in the second half.

South had a small rally which cut the lead to 47-23, but Central closed out the third quarter with a 12-4 run with 6 points coming from Elijah Goodman, 4 from Caleb Mortag and two from a basket by Brad Newman for a 59-28 lead after three quarters.

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