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Index to Year 2013

January 2013

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December 2013

Top stories from each month remembered

A look back on the year's top stories


· Brookfield developer Arthur Sawall outlines to Village officials his plans to develop a multiuse residential and retail complex at the corner of Waukesha Avenue and Main Street, the site of the former Mammoth Springs Cannery Co., including rerouting portions of the Waukesha County Bug Line Recreational Trail.

· Village trustees begin amending some village ordinances in order to make way for the development of nearly 200,000-square-foot Meijer Co. grocery and household goods retail store at the intersection of Lisbon Road (Highway K) and Highway 164.

· The Meissner Family announced it bought back from Johnson Bank the 370 acres of farmland the family had once sold for development. Peter Meissner explained the family purchased the land because they believed it would compliment the Hickory Farms dairy operation the family owns in Iowa.

· The Pauline Haass Library served noticed on the Town of Lisbon that the library board intended to sue the town for "custody and control" of 65 acres of land that the late Pauline Haass donated to the town for library purposes.

· Lannon Village Clerk Jim Lamb announced his retirement after serving 11 years as clerk.


· Lisbon Town Chairman Matt Gehrke, with the support of the town board, removes town resident Emil Glodoski from the Library Board. Glodoski, who was chairman of the Library Board, voted in favor in beginning legal action against the town over "custody and control" of the Pauline Haass farm land donated to the town for library purposes.

· A man sleeping in a boat and bait shop located on Lake Five credited a smoke alarm with waking him up and enabling him to escape the fire that seriously damaged the interior of the building.

· Sandi Gettelman, whose family was involved in Lisbon politics for decades, retired as deputy town clerk. She was replaced by Cassy River, who resigned in March. Rivers was replaced by Elizabeth Krause who is now interim clerk substituting for Clerk/Administrator Jeff Musche who has been suffering from an extended illness.

· A municipal primary election was conducted in the Town of Lisbon without any problems despite the absence of both Clerk/Administrator Jeff Musche and former Deputy Clerk Cassy River.

· The Hamilton School District leased 700 laptop computers for four years at a cost of nearly $400,000 in order to reduce the student to computer ratio from one computer for every five students to one computer for every three students.


· Butler Police Chief Michael Cosgrove, a 33-year veteran of the force, retired in the midst of a Waukesha County Sheriff's Department investigation of allegations of misconduct in the department although village officials complain the investigation was not related to Cosgrove's retirement.

· The Lannon Village Board authorized continued negotiations with officials from the Village of Menomonee Falls over the possible consolidation of the Lannon and Menomonee Falls fire departments.

· Hamilton School District Superintendent Dr. Kathleen Cooke was named Administrator of the Year by the Wisconsin Education Media and Technology Association. Cooke was recognized for her commitment to having a library in each school in the district.

· Hamilton High School student Michael Scott scored a perfect 36 on the ACT college entrance exam. He was one of 781 students out of 1.6 million nationally in the class of 2012 to earn a perfect score.


· A proposal to construct a $1.2 million, 250-foot-tall communication tower on Town of Lisbon land at the corner of Good Hope Road and Hillside Drive created a furor when town residents living in the neighborhood objected to the structure, arguing that it posed safety hazards and would result in reduced real estate values in the neighborhood

· Incumbent Lannon Village President Jerry Newman was upset in the April municipal election by David Nagler. Nagler said he supported the idea of the Lannon and Menomonee Falls fire departments merging, but he said he wanted to learn more about the issue before deciding on the negotiations between the communities would continue.

· Hannah Heinritz, a 24-year-old beekeeper and music teacher who waged a door-to-door campaign, was elected along with Plan Commissioner Steven Pantten to the Lisbon Town Board. With the election of Henritz, the Lisbon Town Board became one of — if not the— youngest municipal boards in Lake Country with three of its members in their early- to mid-30s. Panten, 41, became the oldest member of the board.

· Two challengers, Jeremy Walz and Bonnie Lemmer, defeated two incumbents, Michael McDonald and Jeff Steliga, in Menomonee Falls village elections. One of the big issues in the contest was the $17 million loan the village made to the Radisson Hotel.

· While former Library Board Chairman Emil Glodoski was urging Lisbon and Sussex officials to reach an agreement on funding the Pauline Haass Library, Lisbon voters were electing two new town supervisors with reservations about whether the town should fund the library.


· Halquist Stone announced a $200,000 grant to the Hamilton School District for the construction of a soccer and softball athletic field complex adjacent to Hamilton High School. Company officials said they wanted to make a large donation to the school since the annual "Dozer Days" which raised about $100,000 a year, had to be canceled three years ago because of federal regulations and increased insurance costs.

· Sussex Village officials were pondering whether they would have to condemn land owned by two businesses in order to "day light" and reroute Spring Creek. The creek flows through a culvert and underneath a parking lot west of the intersection of Waukesha Avenue and Main Street. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources said the village must uncover — or day light — the stream rather than attempt to repair the deteriorating parking lot and culvert.

· Lisbon and Sussex officials endorsed the idea of a 250-foot-tall communication tower being built on commercial property on Indiangrass Lane, near Highway 164, rather than on town land near the corner of Good Hope Road and Hillside Drive.

· Lisbon Town Park Superintendent John Greiten received the Hamilton High School Foundation's Distinguished Service Award because of his help in coordinating the foundation's Charger Challenge at Lisbon Community Park. The foundation is hoping that the annual athletic fund raising event will help replace the former "Dozer Days" as one of the foundation's primary fund raising events.

· The Hamilton High School Robotics Team won a series of regional awards in competition during the first quarter of 2013.


· An investigation by the Waukesha County Sheriff's office revealed that Police Chief Michael Cosgrove and some of his officers spending some mornings on duty watching pornography on village computers. In addition to "porn in the morn," the chief apparently also condoned sexist and racists attitudes within the department, according the investigation.

· Buter Village President Richard A. Ensslin says that despite the sheriff's report "there is no scandal" and Butler residents have "overwhelming support for the police department."

· A ceremonial groundbreaking is conducted on the site of Mammoth Springs Development, the multiuse, high end residential and retail complex being developed by Art Sawall of Brookfield.

· For the fourth time in sixteen months, the Village of Sussex was looking for a village engineer after the resignation of Sean Van Bergen was announced. Van Bergen was hired in 2012 following two unsuccessful attempts by the board to recruit someone to replace former Village Engineer Eric Nitschke to resigned in 2011 to join the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

· Butler Police Lt. David Wentlandt is named interim chief and village residents express confidence in the department despite the "porn in the morn" scandal. Wentlandt is later named chief by the village board.


· Trustee Robert Gundrum resigns from the Village of Butler Board in the middle of his first term, citing an increase in his employment responsibilities and additional family obligations as his reasons.

· Su Casa II in Sussex closes after three and a half years in business.

· The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee released thousands of pages of documents July 1 detailing the abuse of children and teens by 42 priests in southeastern Wisconsin, including several local clergy.

· Village of Sussex trustees consider treatment options for two village wells that may exceed Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources standards for radium. A series of meetings was held to determine the most cost effective alternative for reducing the radium levels in the wells.

· Hamilton High School ranks 963 out of 2000 among "America's Best High Schools," according to a list compiled by Newsweek Magazine. It was also named for the first time one of "America's Most Challenging High Schools" by The Washington Post.


· Veteran engineer Judith Neu joins the Village of Sussex staff as its new engineer. Sussex officials have been seeking a village engineer candidate with both engineering and public relations skills since Eric Nitschke resigned as public works director/village engineer in October 2011.

· Village Public Works Director/Assistant Administrator Melissa Weiss has been cited by two statewide associations of municipal executives for her service to the profession of local government management and her "noteworthy efforts" to serve the Sussex community. Weiss was presented with the Futures Award by the Wisconsin City/County Management Association and the Wisconsin Associate of Municipal and County Assistant Managers.

· The Pewaukee Sussex United Soccer Club announces that it will provide a sizable donation to provide soccer equipment for the new Halquist Youth Complex being developed on property near the high school.

· Sussex resident Richard A. Petarius avoids a murder trial after agreeing to plea guilty to numerous felonies, including second-degree intentional homicide after shooting at two police offers during a hostage situation in which Petarius, 76, appeared at the home of his ex wife and forced her at gunpoint into the residence.

· Lisbon's "Jerry" Briski, know in the community for selling vegetables and pumpkins in the fall on the honor system, died Aug. 22 at the age of 66.


· Daniel Koepke pleads no contest to charges of second-degree sex assault on Aug. 29, having been accused in February of allegedly groping an underage girl in the Village of Sussex sometime between 2010 and 2011. This followed a conviction last year in Washington County of exposing himself to his 6-year-old cousin.

· The Bug Line Trail gets a facelift, as contractors lay asphalt, widen, resurface and rebuild portions of the 14-mile trail that extends from Menomonee Falls west to North Lake.

· Hamilton School District was one of only two K-12 school districts in the state to significantly exceed expectations in a "report card" evaluation issued by the state Department of Public Instruction.

· Hamilton High School will be offering 50 scholarships worth $4,000 each, renewable for a second year, beginning in the spring of 2014 thanks to a sizable donation from local grandmother, Marjorie Wrezic. Wrezic is grandmother to two Hamilton graduates and one current high school student, told teachers attending a back-to-school breakfast that she hoped this would help students achieve their goals.


· Town of Lisbon Fire Chief Doug Brahm advises the Town board that it must begin to financially prepare for the day it will be required to pay the state minimum wage of $7.25 an hour to paid-on-call volunteer firefighters who spend the night or weekends on duty at the town fire station. Town Chairman Matt Gehrke said he wanted the board to complete its review of the $6.3 million budget for 2014 before making a decisions on Brahm's stipend proposal.

· Frank A. Wanner, Sussex Lions Club member sicne 1979, died Sept. 22 at the age of 78.

· The Village of Butler hires former Lt. Dave Wentlandt as its new police chief after the department underwent allegations of racist, sexist attitudes under former Chief Cosgrove's watch as well as revelations that pornography had been viewed by several officers on a department computer.

· Village of Butler Administrator Jesse Thyes resigns after being named to the position of assistant cit administrator and human resources director with the City of Mequon.

Anthony Haessly is arrested after the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Department Bomb Squad removed two improvised explosive devices from his apartment on Champeny Court in the Village of Sussex. The incident led Waukesha County Sheriff's Department officials to evacuate nearby residences.


· Convicted sex offender Daniel Koepke will spend another year in prison and an additional two years under extended supervision after pleading no contest to groping an underage Sussex girl. Judge Donald Hassin Jr. said in court that Koepke's "job" in prison was to learn society's boundaries and how to follow them.

· Town of Lisbon taxpayers may actually have to pay for both sides of the dispute over the library agreement. Since the town funds pay for nearly half of the library operations, local taxpayers are contributing to the cost of the lawsuit that has been filed against them by the Library Board.

· Kevin Merbeth, 45, who contributed to the Town of Lisbon's 9-11 Memorial, died at the age of 45. Merbeth and his family fabricated the replica of the towers.

· Judge Jennifer Dorow displayed mercy in her sentencing of Sussex resident Richard Petarius, who was charged with attempted first-degree intentional homicide after shooting at a police officer. He was sentenced to six years in prison.

· Anthony Haessly is charged in federal court with unlawful transportation of a firearm, unlawful transportation of explosives and importing explosive materials after pipe bombs were found in his Sussex apartment.


· Templeton School grieves over the unrelated holiday deaths of teacher Erin Maslowski and student Justin Sexton. Sexton, 11, died after a blood clot following a Nov. 12 surgery to correct issues related to hip dysplasia, according to his mother.

· Quad/Graphics and Milwaukee Magazine matriarch Betty Ewens Quadracci, 75, dies Dec. 9 at her Chenequa home. She and her late husband, Harry, founded Quad/Graphics in 1971.

· Village of Sussex trustees discuss the possibility of rerouting Silver Spring Drive as it approaches the downtown business district between Waukesha Avenue and Main Street. The proposal is included in preliminary plans for the reconstruction of Main Street, a project scheduled to begin in 2018 at a minimum cost of about $8 million to $10 million, not including the rerouting.

· Associated Bank in Sussex is robbed on Dec. 10, making it the third time since March, 2012 that the bank has been robbed.

· The Sussex Lions Club were able to feed 480 families between Thanksgiving and Christmas with their annual food drive.

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