Nickolaus won't run for re-election as Waukesha County clerk

April 28, 2012 11:00 p.m. | Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus, widely criticized over the conduct of elections in her county, announced Saturday she has decided not to seek re-election in November.

But the embattled clerk said in a prepared statement that she would not relinquish "any authority or responsibility" for upcoming elections through the end of her term because "I am the Waukesha County constitutional officer charged with the responsibility of elections."

After problems in the election earlier this month, Nickolaus reportedly agreed under pressure from County Executive Dan Vrakas to cede election responsibilities to her deputy for the upcoming recall races.

Her campaign manager said Saturday she "never ever agreed to hand over the responsibility given to her constitutionally as clerk" to administer the elections. "Kathy is still in charge," said the manager, Dan Hunt, adding Nickolaus was unavailable for comment.

The deputy clerk will serve as liaison between municipal clerks and county clerks, oversee election result processes and make sure the results are reported to the Government Accountability Board, Hunt said.

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Lancers beat DSHA, 1-0, still unbeaten

April 24, 2012 9:26 p.m. | The Brookfield Central girls soccer team remained unbeaten by defeating Divine Savior Holy Angels, 1-0, Tuesday night at Central in a huge Greater Metro Conference game.

The Lancers scored the game's only goal at 28 minutes, 44 seconds when Vanessa Alwan scored on a pass from Morgan Kenny.

It was Alwan's first goal of the season and it came on a great individual effort from about 16 yards out as she created something out of nothing. 

The win improved the Lancers record to 7-0 overall and 3-0 in the Greater Metro Conference. DSHA fell to 2-1 with a 4-2-0 overall record.

Central has allowed only one goal for the year and none in three GMC games. The defense and goalkeeper Rachel Oleson have been outstanding. Oleson had 12 saves tonight.

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Prosecutors, defense spar over evidence in Brookfield slaying

April 24, 2012 3:06 p.m. | Waukesha - Prosecutors say they have evidence including a notebook, letters, emails and statements that implicate Lynn M. Hajny in the June murder of Brookfield businessman John C. Aegerter and want to use it at her trial next month.

Some evidence was discovered in a search of Hajny's New Berlin home after the killing and some was found at the home of a Wauwatosa Police Department clerk who authorities say was involved in the plan to kill Aegerter. The clerk, Mark Finken, 43, shot and killed himself in his garage July 23, shortly after he was interviewed by Brookfield police.

But Hajny's attorney, Michael F. Hart, has filed a motion that seeks to prevent that evidence from being used at the trial, scheduled to begin May 3.

The motion was discussed Tuesday during a hearing before Waukesha County Circuit Judge Patrick C. Haughney, but no decisions were made to give prosecutors more time to respond to Hart's motion.

Hajny, 49, and Tommy Douyette, 42, are accused of killing Aegerter, who was found dead in the garage of his Brookfield residence on June 22.

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Islamic group address variety of concerns tied to mosque

April 24, 2012 11:24 a.m. | A mosque in Brookfield, if approved, might be months from completion, but Monday night the group behind the project brought Islam to the community.

Calling it an informational meeting intended to deal not only with the mosque but the religion of Islam as a whole, the Islamic Society of Milwaukee hosted a town hall-style meeting at Gethsemane Evangelical Lutheran Church to attempt to address concerns over the proposed Muslim place of worship off Calhoun Road.

With a panel on stage in front of a mural of Jesus with a group of children, the setting appeared symbolic of the kind of ecumenical outreach Executive Director Othman Atta and his group wanted.

Between 60 and 80 people came to the meeting, seemingly split pretty evenly between opponents and supporters of the mosque, and cars were lined up down the block. Atta said he was glad those in opposition came out to the meeting,

Mushir Hassan, a Brookfield doctor and one of the driving forces behind this project, told the group that Muslims have been in the community for decades. He said they came to Brookfield for the same reasons Christians, Jews and everyone else came: good schools and safe neighborhoods.

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GAB announces plan to speed Waukesha election reports

April 24, 2012 11:16 a.m. | Waukesha - Vote results from throughout Waukesha County should be available online more quickly in the recall elections because municipal clerks will be entering unofficial results directly into a state vote canvass reporting system, rather than leaving it to the county clerk's staff.

Those results will simultaneously be available to the Waukesha County clerk's office, which is still responsible for posting results on election night.

In a statement Tuesday, Kevin Kennedy, director and general counsel for the Government Accountability Board, said the agency created Wisconsin's canvass reporting system using a federal grant in 2010 so county clerks could use it to report canvass results - the official totals that are checked several days after an election - to the state electronically.

However, the Web-based system was built with a tool for municipal clerks to enter unofficial results on election night. Kennedy said all Waukesha County municipal clerks will be asked to use that tool for the May 8 primaries and the June 5 recalls.

The process means that local clerks do not have to drive voting machine tapes into the county clerk's office in Waukesha after polls close, as they did April 3, so that she and her staff can enter the data.

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Brookfield mosque forum tonight intended to dispel misconceptions

April 23, 2012 12:42 p.m. | Correction: Gethsemane Church is on Greenfield Ave., not Brookfield Ave.

The Islamic Society of Milwaukee will field questions about its planned Brookfield mosque at an informational forum tonight in an effort to dispel what they say are misconceptions about the faith and defuse criticism of the project.

Gethsemane Evangelical Lutheran Church, 13200 W. Greenfield Ave., agreed to host the 7 p.m. forum, Pastor Viviane Thomas-Breitfeld said, in an effort to support religious freedom and civil discourse.

“We need to provide our brothers and sisters of different faiths what we expect for ourselves as Christians,” she said.

The Islamic Society has proposed a 13,000-square-foot mosque and community center on 4.25 acres east of N. Calhoun Road on Pheasant Drive. The group, which has about 100 families within a 4-mile radius of the site, has been exploring a mosque in Brookfield for more than a decade.

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Fire severely damages Elm Grove home

April 23, 2012 12:00 p.m. | The Elm Grove Fire Department responded a fire early Monday morning that nearly destroyed an Elm Grove home.

There were no reported injuries to occupants or emergency personnel. Police Chief Jim Gage said no one was home when fire and police personnel arrived just before 3 a.m. in the 15000 block of Westover Road. Brookfield, Waukesha, New Berlin, Menomonee Falls, Lannon and Muskego also responded.

The cause of the fire, which officials said was under control by 4 a.m., is still under investigation. No origin has been determined at this time.

Early estimate of structural loss is $407,300. Total assessed value of the home, including land, is $548,000, based on 2012 property tax listings. The home had been listed for sale.

It was not immediately known whether the home had working smoke detectors or a fire alarm system.

Italian restaurant to open in Brookfield's Stonewood Village

April 20, 2012 8:03 a.m. | A new restaurant is in the works at the former Mr. B’s space in Brookfield’s Stonewood Village, 17700 W. Capitol Drive.

Called Mozzaluna, it’s expected to serve Italian fare, including pizzas made in the wood-fired oven.

Stay tuned for details...

Bank says developer Kuttemperoor defaulted on $1 million note

April 17, 2012 10:32 a.m. | The latest headache for real estate developer Vincent Kuttemperoor: A bank says he defaulted on a $1 million, no-interest note.

Kuttemperoor and his company, Brookfield-based V.K. Development Corp., made their mark on southeastern Wisconsin building luxury homes in the '80s and '90s.

But the former Milwaukee School of Engineering professor suffered a series of reversals in recent years as the real estate market crashed. Massive developments planned or partly executed in Port Washington and Naples, Fla. were lost to foreclosure. Lenders also took over smaller developments in Brookfield.

Now, WaterStone Bank is suing Kuttemperoor and a V.K. Development affiliate in Milwaukee County Circuit Court.

According to the complaint, Kuttemperoor and VSA Development LLC signed a business note in December 2009, promising to pay WaterStone $1 million in a lump sum on Dec. 31, 2011. The terms of the note specified zero percent interest if the debt were paid on time.

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New Berlin ousts Wauwatosa to win Battle of the Burbs

April 13, 2012 8:37 a.m. | The voters in MyCommunityNOW's Battle of the Burbs contest have spoken and New Berlin has been tabbed the best place to live in the suburban Milwaukee area.

The second-seeded Waukesha-county suburb cruised past No. 1 Wauwatosa with 65 percent of the vote to 35 percent.

Congratulations to Mark Klug of Greendale, who was randomly chosen from all voters to receive a $100 gift card. Kudos are also in order for William Smith of Waukesha, who will receive a $50 gift card and Jennifer Phelps of New Berlin, who will receive a $25 gift card.

Thanks to all of our voters for taking part in the contest.

Marquette High football coach arrested for drunken driving

April 10, 2012 12:40 p.m. | The head football coach and Director of Alumni Relations at Marquette University High School was arrested April 1 for drunken driving. Jeffrey "Maz" Mazurczak was stopped by Elm Grove police just after 2 a.m. April 1 after he was seen driving erratically on Bluemound Road.

According to the police report, Mazurczak failed a field sobriety test and was taken to the Elm Grove Police Department for a blood toxicity test. He had a blood-alcohol content of 0.11. He was booked for drunken driving and released to his wife just before 4 a.m.

Kriss Schulz, vice president of communications and planning at MUHS, said the school is aware of the situation "and the administration will take appropriate action following thorough review of the facts.

"We're still in the process of reviewing the situation," she said.

The administrators who need to decide what that "appropriate action" will be are out of town as it is spring break. Mazurczak reports to Athletic Director Bob Herman and Principal Jeff Monday. Schulz is unsure if the president of the school will be involved in determining what action the school will take.

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Under pressure, Nickolaus hands off election duties

April 05, 2012 10:18 p.m. | Waukesha - Waukesha County Executive Dan Vrakas said he would publicly call for County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus' resignation unless she handed off her election duties in the upcoming recalls to her deputy clerk.

Nickolaus chose the latter. She agreed to allow outside consultants and county staff to work with her deputy, Kelly Yaeger, to handle the election, Vrakas said.

"The county will move swiftly to examine the election night procedures in the county clerk's office and make changes as necessary to restore the public's confidence in our elections," Vrakas said in a statement late this afternoon.

In an interview, Vrakas said, "I appreciate the fact that she understands the importance of restoring confidence in Waukesha County election night reporting. Swift, detailed, orderly reporting that should be available on the Internet. When given the choice to step down or step aside, she made the right decision."

Nickolaus again came under scrutiny because her Tuesday night election efforts resulted in long delays in reporting results. Based on an agreement with the state Government Accountability Board - one that came about after she omitted 14,000 votes from unofficial totals on election night - Nickolaus was to post paper voting machine tape records outside her office as soon as municipal clerks delivered them in person. Then she was to electronically upload the memory cards of the municipal ballot machines and produce summary reports throughout the night.

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Brookfield Stars to co-op with Catholic Memorial

April 05, 2012 3:11 p.m. | Brookfield Central, Brookfield East and Catholic Memorial High School hockey programs have agreed to co-op as the Stars.

According to Brookfield Central Athletic and Activities Director Todd Sobrilsky and Brookfield East Athletic and Activities Director Corey Golla, the main factor in the co-op decision was participation numbers.

In the 2012-13 school year both hockey programs (BC/BE – The Brookfield Stars, CMH – The Crusaders) project to have between 14-16 players grades 9-12 in their programs.  These numbers are based on the returning athletes (Stars-12, CMH-10) and the number of present 8th graders playing youth hockey in the feeder programs (Stars-4, CMH-4).  Of the 14-16 players involved in each program 6-9 would be labeled as “Varsity” level players.  In the next two to four years the current youth feeder programs project to offer the same consistent 4-5 student athletes per year into the program.

“In order to offer a quality, competitive hockey experience for student athletes, a minimum of twenty-five to thirty participants must be in place, which the new co-op will provide,” said Sobrilsky.
The Brookfield Stars chose to co-op with the Crusaders because they offer a similar program philosophy in that they would prefer to be a stand-alone program, but know that is currently not in their best interest due to participation. Sobrilsky explained the plan for the next three to four years is for the co-op to allow Brookfield and Catholic Memorial to achieve higher participation numbers in order to go back to sustaining their own programs. The agreement between the Stars and Crusaders will include threshold numbers (22-25) that would trigger the co-op to be dissolved.  
“While other school districts in the area have requested an opportunity to co-op with the Stars, they only offer one to three student athlete spots,” said Sobrilsky. “That kind of co-op approach does not fit with our school district’s philosophy of program-building and vision of sustaining our own stand-along hockey program in the future. A co-op with Catholic Memorial serves our best interests at this time.” 
The School District of Elmbrook will oversee the co-op, which will be called the Stars. Beginning in the 2012-13 school year, Corey Golla will handle responsibilities including supervision of coaches, game/event management, budget, event transportation, booster group and WIAA liaison duties.

New Stars Coach to be hired
Brookfield Stars Coach Chris Frantz resigned as head coach on April 2 after coaching the team for the last two years.

“We would like to thank Coach Frantz for his time and efforts leading the Stars,” said Sobrilsky. “This year’s WIAA State tournament run was truly amazing, and Coach Frantz should be proud of his part in that accomplishment. We wish him nothing but the best of luck in the future.”

Sobrilsky and Golla intend to hire a head coach to lead the “new” co-op pending official WIAA approval of the co-op proposal in late April.

Germantown's Showalter named All-Suburban Boys Basketball Player of the Year

April 05, 2012 9:24 a.m. | Germantown senior Zak Showalter has been named the NOW All-Suburban Boys Basketball Player of the Year for the second consecutive season.

Showalter helped the Warhawks to a 28-0 mark and the WIAA Division 1 boys basketball championship last month.

He is joined on the NOW squad by teammate Luke Fischer and Steve Showalter, Zak's father and the co-coach of the year.

West Allis Central head coach David Mlachnik shares coach of the year honors.

Photo gallery: Zak Showalter through the years

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More election night problems in Waukesha

April 04, 2012 10:12 p.m. | Waukesha - Another election, another controversy over the performance of Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus.

Nickolaus may have done her re-election campaign no favors Tuesday night when her plans to post timely election results online and update them periodically for the public failed.

Citizens checking for results online were left in the dark for hours after voting ended, while reporters and data collectors for election reporting services resorted to tabulating contested races from yards of paper tapes hanging on walls around a meeting room. The process was akin to reading a long grocery receipt where, in some cases, the tape stretched down the wall and onto the floor in a heap.

Problems with Nickolaus' reporting system were evident soon after the earliest municipal clerks delivered, in person as she required, the voting machine memory packs and paper tapes showing vote totals. When Nickolaus' staff tried to upload results from the memory cards into the county clerk's reporting program, it wouldn't work.

"We were shocked," she said Wednesday, noting that she and her staff had tested the reporting program "many times."

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Rohde sparks Spartans to Boys GMC Indoor Title, Lancers second

April 04, 2012 9:19 a.m. | In their first major challenge on the long journey back to the state meet in June, the Brookfield East Spartans rolled to the 2012 Greater Metro Conference Indoor Championship on Tuesday at West Allis Central.

East was led by Kyle Rohde, who usually gets most of his kudos on the volleyball court. Rohde won the 55-meter low hurdles (8.40), the 55-high hurdles (8.40), the long jump (21-feet, 3/4 inches) and the triple jump (44-3 1/2).

The Spartans actually swept the top three spots in the 55-high hurdles, as Mitch Douglas (8.44) and Alec Brown (8.48) took second and third.

Those performances helped the Spartans to 165 points, finishing ahead of second-place Brookfield Central (99).

It East's fourth straight indoor title, seventh straight GMC title and 9 of the last 10 championships (relays/outdoors).

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Incumbents returned to Elmbrook School Board

April 04, 2012 12:46 a.m. | Elmbrook voters returned Jean Lambert and Meg Wartman to serve on the School Board for another term Tuesday.

Lambert beat opponent Paul Byrne, 6,060 votes to 5,141, returning her to the Area IV School Board seat.

Wartman squared off against Lynne Thomas, receiving 7,348 votes to Thomas' 3,979 in the race for the at-large seat.

All results remain unofficial until certified by the board of canvassers Wednesday.

Lowerr claims District 7

April 03, 2012 9:50 p.m. | Incumbent Renee Lowerr beat challenger Thomas Schellinger in the race for District 7 alderman in the city of Brookfield.

According to unofficial results, Lowerr won 849 votes and Schellinger won 462.

Results remain unofficial until the board of canvassars meets tomorrow.

Sutton beats Steinberg in District 1 race

April 03, 2012 9:44 p.m. | Incumbent Dan Sutton has defeated challenger Richard Steinberg in the race for Brookfield's 1st Aldermanic District.

According to unofficial results tonight, Sutton won 949 votes and Steinberg 528.

Results remain unofficial until the board of canvassars meets tomorrow.

Jurken wins Brookfield's 4th Aldermanic District

April 03, 2012 9:38 p.m. | Reports of stolen election signs supporting Buck Jurken didn't slow the incumbent 4th District alderman. Jurken won the election by more than 150 votes, according to preliminary totals.

The preliminary results of tonight's election: Jurken claimed 778 votes while his opponent, Cathy Wolfla won 605.

Results remain unofficial until certified by a board of canvassers, which will meet Wednesday.

Jurken was quick to credit the voters for believing in him, something he said he takes seriously.

"I value and cherish the trust that the voters have given me, and will continue to do my part in making Brookfield a better community to live, grow and flourish."

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Police respond to two threats at Elmbrook middle school

April 03, 2012 8:18 p.m. | Brookfield police were called twice to Wisconsin Hills Middle School on March 29 to deal with students making violent threats. The first incident took place just before 9 a.m. and involved a 14-year-old boy threatening to kill another student during an aggressive and expletive-filled exchange.

The boy was cited for disorderly conduct and referred to juvenile court.

Later that day, at 1:47 p.m., police again came to the school after it was found a 12-year-old girl used another student's iPad to announce via Facebook she planned to blow up the school. The girl said she was frustrated that her friend was being bullied by another student.

She was not cited.

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