Posts for December, 2011
Village of Pewaukee - Students at Pewaukee High School were evacuated this morning due to a strong odor.
Pewaukee Fire Chief Kevin Bierce said epoxy was being used in an addition under construction and westerly winds carried the odor throughout the high school. The call for a strong odor came in at 10:02 a.m. and fire department personnel and Village of Pewaukee police responded. High school students were released for the day.
Bierce said the school has been checked out and meter readings show the air quality is fine.
The Mukwonago Area Chamber of Commerce's annual Midnight Magic celebration will be creating holiday memories in Mukwonago this Saturday Dec. 3 with special events throughout the day.
10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Alaskan Malamute Dog Sled Pull (Bay View Road and Greenwald Court)
10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Marketplace with more than 120 crafters and vendors (Park View Middle School) $1 admission for adults
10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Enchanted Gingerbread Forest gingerbread contest (The Garden Mart)
10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Pictures with Santa
2 p.m. Christmas Parade
4 p.m. to 10:45 p.m. Carriage rides (Field Park) $5 per person/$15 per family
9 p.m. Fireworks
The Christmas Parade lines up behind Mukwonago High School, begins east down Roberts St., south on Meadow View, east on MacArthur, south on Highway 83, and east on Washington Ave. to the library.
Live nativity scenes will be held at St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church, 410 Highway NN West at 4:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m., and 7:30 p.m.
For more information visit www.mukwonagochamber.org.
A multi-car/truck accident in the westbound lane of Highway 16 just west of North Avenue took place about 3:10p.m. today. Traffic was backed up about one-half mile on Highway 16 at 3:30 p.m.
A gravel truck was in the median, facing west and several other damaged vehicles could be seen.
Waukesha County and Hartland police were on the scene along with several fire department vehicles.
Village of Sussex - Village officials are anticipating that Waukesha County Sheriff's Lt. James Gumm will soon be promoted to captain and will no longer be assigned as village police services director.
Assitant Village Administrator Melissa Weiss told the Public Safety Committee Thursday night that prospectives candidates within the sheriff's department to replace Gumm were being introduced to village staff and officials and were following Gumm through his daily routine so they could learn his duties.
Weiss and other village officials emphasized a final decision by the sheriff's office has not been made but Gumm is participating in the captain promotion process and as one village official said privately, "I think he is a shoo in."
"As I understand it, there are six candidates for three positions and I am sure the other candidates are also highly qualified and a decision has not yet been made," said Village Trustee Jim Batzko, chairman of the Pulbic Safety Committee and a City of Delafield police officer.
Since being assigned village police services director in 2008, Gumm has won praise from local officials as well as his supervisors in the sheriff's department, particularly for his performance as supervisor of day to day operations at the county sheriff's substation that was opened in the village in 2010.
But the ultimate compliment may have come after Thursday night's committee meeting when Village Fire Chief Colin "Corky" Curtis compared Gumm favorably to Lt. Pete Chysinki who served as village police services director for 12 years before retiring.
"On a scale of 1 to 10, I would rate them both a 10. Pete and Jim had different management styles but they both won the respect of the village staff, the staff of their departments, and the community," Curtis said.
If Gumm is promoted, it may have ramifications outside the boundaries of Sussex.
The Village of Merton has been paying the county sheriff''s department an additional $6,000 a year to insure that Gumm was assigned to supervise the deputy on duty in the village for an eight hour shift during weekdays provided for in a police service contract with the county.
Merton village officials could not be reached for comment.
Still looking for that perfect Christmas tree for the family to enjoy this holiday season? Lake Country's got you covered! Check out our list of local tree farms in this weekend's Living Lake Country Sunday.
Mukwonago residents can drop off non-perishable food items at Mukwonago Family Chiropractic, 225 Bay View Rd., Suite 400, during business hours through Dec. 15 for the Wisconsin Chiropractic Association’s 2011 Helping Hands Food Drive to help food pantries during the holiday season when they have a critical need for food. All items collected during the drive will be donated to local food pantries.
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT) has confirmed that a light pole was indeed misplaced resulting in a power outage for around 2,000 Town of Mukwonago customers Tuesday morning as a power line swing in the high winds and shorted upon contact with the pole near Highway I and Highway 83.
The outage began around 6 a.m. on Tuesday and lasted around 50 minutes for the 2,000 WE Energies customers, and an additional 50 customers were without power for around 70 minutes.
The DOT states that the pole has been removed for now, and will be repositioned.
Check the Dec. 7 edition of the Mukwonago Chief for more information.
Arrowhead's varsity girls basketball team opened the 2010-11 season Friday night by defeating visiting West Allis Central in a nonconference game, 56-51.
AHS rolled to a 35-22 lead at halftime and led by as many as 17 points. In the second half they struggled, allowing Central to get to within three points (54-51) with 9.6 seconds to play. Two free throws by sisters Kelly and Jenny Smith in the final 7.1 seconds iced the win for the Warhawks.
Jenny Smith fired in 17 points to lead the winners. Amanda Bauer and Kyle Davis had 10 points apiece.
Central was led by UW-Green Bay recruit Mehryn Kraker who fired in 24 points.
New Berlin West's girls basketball team led most of the night, but Pewaukee senior Jordyn Swan hit two free throws with 13.9 seconds left, lifting the Pirates to a 44-42 victory in the Woodland Conference opener Friday night.
West kept the Pirates off balance most of the game, taking a lead as large as eight points in the first half and seven in the second half. Emily Wirth hit a 3-pointer with 2:14 left to give PHS a 36-35 lead -- their first of the game -- but West's Stephanie Turner answered with a jumper to give West the lead back. Turner finished with 16 points.
Brittany Groer's old-fashioned 3-point play gave PHS the lead back with 1:36 to play, 39-37, and Wirth hit three free throws in four attempts to make it 42-39 with 35.2 seconds to play. West re-tied the game on an Anne Kaczynski triple with 24 seconds left, but Pewaukee pushed the ball down the court after the ensuing timeout, and Swan drew contact with her look from the block.
A last-ditch 3-pointer by West fell short. Both teams emerged from the contest with 1-1 records.
Pewaukee's varsity boys basketball team rallied back from an early 12-4 deficit Friday night to defeat visiting Waukesha West in the first game of the Woodland Conference season, 58-44.
The Pirates outscored West 18-6 in the second quarter and never looked back.
Senior guard Kray Bradley fired in 28 points to take game scoring honors. Bradley had scored 58 points in the last two games. Austin Cairo came off the bench and nailed three 3-pointers, finishing with 9 tallies.
Dan Sidesky had 24 points for West.
Streets are filling with folks in the holiday spirit during the Mukwonago Chamber of Commerce's Midnight Magic this afternoon in the Village of Mukwonago.
Events scheduled for the rest of the day include:
10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Enchanted Gingerbread Forest gingerbread contest (The Garden Mart)
4 p.m. to 10:45 p.m. Carriage rides (Field Park) $5 per person/$15 per family
9 p.m. Fireworks
Live nativity scenes will be held at St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church, 410 Highway NN West at 4:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m., and 7:30 p.m.
The Town of Mukwonago Police Department is investigating a fatal accident that occurred about 3:38 p.m. on Saturday on Highway I at River Road.
Police were called to the scene where 56-year-old Mukwonago resident Kathleen Rodenbeck was pronounced dead from injuries suffered during the rollover accident. Rodenbeck's 2001 Pontiac mini-van was found against a tree on the south side of the roadway.
Highway I near the scene was closed for about six hours as police conducted their investigation.
The cause of the crash is still under investigation.
Rodenceck's obituary will appear in this Wednesday's Mukwonago Chief.
Stay tuned to the Mukwonago Chief for more information.
Santa and Mrs. Claus greet parade watchers during the Mukwonago Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Center's Midnight Magic parade on Dec. 3. Watch for more coverage of the event in the next Mukwonago Chief.
Town of Delafield – Town officials will be holding a public hearing at 7 p.m. at Town Hall regarding an ordinance that would allow residents to keep chickens. The Plan Commission has been discussing such an ordinance for several months after one town resident was found to be raising chickens on a residential property. Numerous other area communities have such an ordinance as do major cities in the United States.
Town of Delafield – Town officials will be holding a public hearing at 7 p.m. at Town Hall regarding an ordinance that would allow residents to keep chickens.
The Plan Commission has been discussing such an ordinance for several months after one town resident was found to be raising chickens on a residential property.
Numerous other area communities have such an ordinance as do major cities in the United States.
The Mukwonago Town Board will met at 6 p.m. Dec. 7 to discuss the fate of the $506,000 grant the town received to provide a permanent solution to flooding problems in the Country Bliss subdivision. With the grant money expiring at the end of this year, the town must decide what to do with it.
The town has been trying to find an affordable and feasible solution since May of this year, but have so far been unable to do so.
Look for an update on the outcome of the meeting in the Dec. 14 edition of the Mukwonago Chief.
Dakota - an educational owl that was taken from the Wildlife In Need Center (WINC) three weeks ago - has returned home, according to a news release from WINC.
At about 7:30 a.m., staff members captured the great horned owl.
On Monday staffers searching for Dakota confirmed his presence at a site that has been monitored since early last week.
At 6 a.m. today, staff was called to the site, where he had reportedly been seen sitting on a rear deck. When staff arrived he was still there, but was startled and flew when approached. His flight was noticeably impaired, according to the release, which noted the owl stayed close to the ground and at close range.
Dakota is now back at WINC in Ottawa.
Once at the center, staff members examined him and determined that he is thin, dehydrated and weak.
At present, he is being kept quiet, resting and recuperating from his ordeal. Dakota’s veterinarian will conduct a thorough examination later today.
The Big Bend Police Department has been awarded an Alcohol Enforcement Grant by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation – Bureau of Transportation Safety (WI DOT-BOTS) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). This grant provides funds for additional patrols designed to detect and enforce alcohol impaired drivers.
Additionally, the Big Bend Police Department will be partnering with the Muskego Police Department to provide ‘high visibility enforcement’ patrols during all of the state-wide driving safety campaigns. The first campaign, “Booze and Belts” will run from Dec. 9 to the 17. Officers from both departments will provide a concerted effort in enforcing traffic laws, specifically in the areas of impaired driving and seat belt usage.
Last year in Wisconsin, there were more than 40,000 convictions for drunken driving, and almost 120,000 convictions for failure to fasten safety belts. By teaming up with partners throughout the state, such as Muskego Police, WI DOT-BOTS and NHTSA, the department hopes to make this a safe holiday season. Going forward in 2012, the additional patrols will continue in an effort to obtain the goal of preventing traffic deaths.
City of Delafield - While one prominent city resident has announced he would not seek election to the Common Council; another one, who holds a county elective office,said he would seek election as alderman.
Waukesha County Register of Deeds James Beherend said he will run for alderman in the newly created Second Aldermanic District. Beherend was elected to one term on the council and two terms as mayor in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
He says he sees no conflict between his full time duties as county register of deeds and the part time position of alderman. Former Register of Deeds Michael J. Hasslinger served for years as a member of the Town Board and later the Common Council in Pewaukee.
The Second Aldermanic District is presently represented by Ald. Beth Leonard who cannot seek reelection because she will no longer reside in the district following the 2012 municipal elections. Her home will be part of the First District represented by incumbent Jeff Krickhahn.
New aldermanic districts were created following the 2010 federal population census. The new Second District includes residential neighborhoods near the downtown business district and along the south east and central shore lines of Lake Nagawicka.
Common Council President Erv Sadowski who now represent the Third District has been moved into the Second District as a result of the new boundaries. Sadowski said he will not seek another term on the council.
"I have been on the council for 10 years. It is has been a great ride, but it is time for new ideas, new blood," said Sadowski who was appoined in the 2002 to fill a vacancy created by the election of Alderman Paul Craig as mayor.
The new Third District will represent business and residential neighbors near the downtown business district and along the southwest shore of the lake.
Candidates will be elected from the newly created second,third, fourth and sixth districts. Mayor Ed McAleer has announced he plans to seek reelection.
A judge this afternoon sentenced James Richards, 19, formerly of Oconomowoc, to five years in prison for hiding the body of Beau Butschke, 28, of Ixonia, who was murdered July 14.
Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge Randy Koschnick also ordered Richards to five years of extended supervision to follow his prison sentence.
Richards met James T. Richardson, 51, of Ixonia, on July 13 at a gas station in the City of Oconomowoc. The following day Richardson shot and killed Butschke, his neighbor. Richardson and Butschke had a long standing dispute.
After Richardson murdered Butschke he and Richards took Butschke’s body to a storage shed in Ixonia. Richardson and Richards then went to Butschke’s residence where they drank his beer and ate his food.
Butschke’s body was found 12 days later and Richardson and Richards were arrested July 31. Richards, after initially lying to police, confessed he witnessed the murder and helped hide Butschke’s body.
The holidays can be a stressful time with endless lists of things to do and things to buy in our mad ironic dash to make the season merry.
That’s why it’s nice to step back for a couple hours and just let those magical moments come to us, rather than thinking we need to create them.
A fun way for families to carve some time for themselves is to start the weekend with something festive, like a hearty breakfast with Santa at St. Charles Parish, 313 Circle Drive in Hartland. The breakfast, which includes pancakes, sausage, applesauce and family style dessert plate, is from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. Saturday.
Children can bring their lists for Santa since there’s still plenty of time for his elves to have them ready by Christmas. Parents can have a keepsake for years to come when their children have their pictures taken with Santa. Kids will also have a chance to do their own shopping at the Secret Santa Gift Shop.
And so as not to forget the true reason for the season, a living Nativity will present the Christmas story.
There will also be Christmas music and raffles.
Tickets are available at the door for $9 for adults, $8 for seniors, $6 for children, free for children 3 and younger.
For more information visit www.stcharlesschool hartland.com.
Meet one of your Lake Country neighbors when you read our Q&A with Food Pantry of Waukesha County's Karen Tredwell of Pewaukee in this weekend's Living Lake Country Sunday.
City of Delafield - Emergency response teams from the City of Waukesha, the Waukesha County sheriff's office and Lake Country Fire and Rescue remain at the scene of an apparent suicide at a park and ride located near Highway 83 and Interstate 94.
A spokesman for the Waukesha County Sheriff's office said they received a call of an apparent suicide in the parking lot near Milwaukee Street and Highway 83 ,adjacent to the Naga-Waukee Park indoor ice skating arena, at about 7:30 a.m.
Lt. William O. Deering said he could not provide additional information because the investigation of the incident was not completed and next of kin of the victom had not been notified. He also said he was not sure what prompted authorities to call the City of Waukesha Fire Department's hazard materials response team.
Waukesha Fire Department Deputy Chief Steve Ore said the hazemat unit was summoned at about 9:30 a.m. by Lake Country Fire and Rescue. The city department provides regional hazardous material response.
A spokeswoman for Lake Country Fire and Rescue said she could not elaborate on why the hazmat unit was called because command authorities with the department were still at the scene. Lake Country Fire and Rescue serves the City of Delafield as well as the villages of Chenequa and Nashotah.
Although the park and ride is located within the city limits of Delafield, it is on county owned property which is the jurisdiction of the county's sheriff's office.
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) Northeast Region is reminding motorists heading to Lambeau Field on Sunday, Dec. 11 for the Green Bay Packers/Oakland Raiders football game that the road construction season continues on most major roads in Northeast Wisconsin. While most projects will stop and two lanes of traffic will be open, drivers might still encounter road conditions in the work zones that could cause backups.
WisDOT strongly recommends motorists allow themselves additional time to reach their destinations.
Here is a list of the major roads in northeast Wisconsin most Packers fans will be traveling and the road conditions they should anticipate:
Brown County – drivers will encounter 11-foot travel lanes and reduced shoulders in multiple locations along a 10-mile segment of highway. The speed limit is reduced to 55 mph from just south of Oneida Street to Velp Avenue.
Winnebago County – certain segments of 16 miles of highway, from WIS 26 to Breezewood Lane, have restricted shoulders and 11-foot travel lanes, especially in the vicinity of the US 45 interchange area.
View this document on the Web at http://www.dot.wisconsin.gov/
Orchard Hill Assembly of God, formally New Life Community Church, N9590 Hwy. ES, will hold a Christmas praise service on Sunday, Dec. 11 at 9:30 a.m. The service will feature festive Christmas music, fellowship, an inspirational message along with cookies and refreshments to follow the service.
Oconomowoc''s varsity girls basketball team didn't shoot well in the first half on Friday, but was able to ovvercome it against Wisconsin Lutheran.
The Raccoons defeated the Vikings 48-40 in a Wisconsin Little Ten Conference game.
Mandy Prom scored 25 points for the winners. Carly Hall scored 10 points and both helped shave time off the clock in the late stages of the game when Wisconsin Lutheran had to chase and foul to stop the clock.
"I told the team at halftime to only be down two points with the way we shot was amazing," OHS head coach Bob Shey said. "In the second half we played defense and took care of the ball and that was key."
The Pewaukee girls basketball team met its match in state-ranked Cudahy on Friday, falling in a rare lopsided defeat, 63-42.
The Pirates took a 15-9 lead in the first quarter but surrendered a 15-0 run, and the Packers held control of the game the rest of the way. The Pirates cut the deficit to six points early in the fourth quarter at 49-43, but Pewaukee never scored again and Cudahy closed on a 14-0 run.
Senior Jordyn Swan left the game late in the third after taking a hard fall and landing on her tailbone, further complicating any comeback efforts. She stayed down under the basket for 10 minutes before walking off gingerly.
Taylor Gradinjan, one of the state's top seniors, scored 19 points for Cudahy. The Pirates fell to 2-2 and 2-1 in league play.
Leslie and Brandt Komas help transfer books from shelves to a moving cart on Dec. 10 as the Mukwonago Community Library moved to its new expanded facitility while Andy Swenson assembles new shelving units with Anchor Moving System at the expanded library. The library is closed Monday and Tuesday for moving and will reopen in the new facility on Wednesday, Dec. 14.
Four Mukwonago High School graduates are working their way to the national music scene with their band Herman Astro.
Band members Zachary Pluer, Cody Calderon, Eric LeMieux, and Adam Dosemagen attribute their local success to their small town roots; something they are confident will work in their favor once they make it big.
Read more about the band, their music, how Mukwonago influenced them, and what their dreams for the future are in tomorrow's Mukwonago Chief.
With the deadline for declaring non-candidacy approaching on Dec. 23, two of three Mukwonago School Board members with terms ending next April have turned in non-candidacy papers.
Mukwonago Area School District Board of Education members Paul Wysocki and John Bularz have filed papers stating they will not seek re-election to the Board. Board member Rodell Singert will seek reelection for another term next spring, according to MASD Superintendent Paul Strobel.
The notification for non-candidacy creates two vacant school board seats, one At-Large seat and a vacant Western seat.
The deadline to file declarations of candidacy and campaign registration statements by individuals interested in running for the school board is Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2012 at 4:30 p.m. Papers for filing for candidacy are available at the district office.
Wysocki and Bularz were both elected in 2000.
Impact Christian Ministry will be providing a Sing and Shop Toys for Tots Flash Mob on Saturday, Dec. 17 at 12:30 pm at the Dollar Tree, 2740 Heritage Drive, Delafield.
The group will sing "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" while shopping and request that all who attend spend a minimum of $2 on toys that will be donated to Toys for Tots.
Contact Sahia at email@example.com with any questions.
Terry Kaldhusdal, a fourth grade teacher at Magee Elementary School in the Kettle Moraine School District, has been named the 2011 Wisconsin History Teacher of the Year. The award is co-sponsored by The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, the History Channel and Preserve America.
Kaldhusdal will receive a $1,000 honorarium and will be in the running to be named the National History Teacher of the Year. Magee Elementary School’s library will also receive a core archive of history books and educational materials in honor of Kaldhusdal. The Kettle Moraine School District honored Kaldhusdal at the Dec. 13 Board of Education meeting.
Oconomowoc's boys basketball team incurred its first loss of the year, falling to Oregon on Tuesday at home, 62-46.
Zach Poker battled foul trouble to still deliver 18 points and 10 rebounds, but a balanced Oregon team shot better than 63 percent in the second half and 52 percent for the game, thanks in large part to superb ball movement and a disappointing defensive effort in the eyes of Cooney coach Kurt Melton.
The Raccoons (4-1) were never closer than five points in the second half. An Oregon banked 3-pointer at the third quarter buzzer from three-quarters court was one of the final daggers.
The Kettle Moraine Golden Lasers invite all community members, 55 and older, to join them at their next gathering on Friday, Dec. 16 at 11:30 a.m., at the Brandybrook Community Center, S11W29980 Summit Avenue in Wales.
A holiday luncheon will be served followed by a musical performance by Wales Elementary music students. For further information, or to make a reservation, please contact Kelly Donaldson at the Community Education Office, (968) 6273 ext. 5326.
Chris Stape mans the reference desk at the newly expanded Mukwonago Community Library as patrons use computers as the library reopened today in its new facility. Watch next week's Mukwonago Chief for a look at the history of the library as it grew to accomodate the community.
Waukesha – Richard Wilson, who allegedly murdered his grandfather, Ronald Siepmann, on Mother’s Day, is scheduled to appear in court Thursday for a report about his mental health.
Wilson, 17, of Fox Point, is charged with killing Siepmann, 78, with an ax at Siepmann’s Town of Merton residence. In September, Wilson entered a plea of not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect. A judge ordered Wilson to be evaluated regarding the special plea. A psychologist report has been completed and will be discussed at the hearing.
According to the criminal complaint, Wilson’s mother told police her son suffers from schizophrenia. Wilson was evaluated this summer by a court-appointed psychiatrist, who determined Wilson was competent to stand trial.
The Town of Mukwonago will be hosting the first of two scheduled gun safety courses from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17.
The course was designed to meet Concealed Carry requirements, and provide additional revenue to the town.
Competencies and learning objectives will include: recognizing the state's process for obtaining, maintaining and renewing a concealed carry weapons (CCW) permit; accepting responsibility for firearm safety; analyzing considerations surrounding carrying a concealed weapon; and discussing the legal implications of carrying a concealed weapon.
The cost for the course is $95 for residents and $105 for nonresidents.
Reserve a spot by calling the Town of Mukwonago Police Department at (262) 363-5188.
Waukesha – More charges against an Ixonia couple accused of breaking into vehicles in several communities are expected to be sent to the Waukesha County District Attorney’s Office for its review. Michael Hoeft, 32, and Noelle Lane, 27, both of W209 McMahon Road, were charged Dec. in Waukesha County Circuit Court with multiple felony counts of misappropriate identification information to obtain money and bail jumping. According to the criminal complaint, the couple entered vehicles in the cities of Oconomowoc and Delafield, the villages of Pewaukee, Hartland and Wales, and the Town of Oconomowoc from October and November. The couple was out on bail at the time from burglary and theft charges regarding incidents they were allegedly involved with in the Town of Oconomowoc during August. The couple are currently being held in Waukesha County Jail and are scheduled to appear in court later this afternoon for a preliminary hearing.
Waukesha – More charges against an Ixonia couple accused of breaking into vehicles in several communities are expected to be sent to the Waukesha County District Attorney’s Office for its review.
Michael Hoeft, 32, and Noelle Lane, 27, both of W209 McMahon Road, were charged Dec. in Waukesha County Circuit Court with multiple felony counts of misappropriate identification information to obtain money and bail jumping.
According to the criminal complaint, the couple entered vehicles in the cities of Oconomowoc and Delafield, the villages of Pewaukee, Hartland and Wales, and the Town of Oconomowoc from October and November. The couple was out on bail at the time from burglary and theft charges regarding incidents they were allegedly involved with in the Town of Oconomowoc during August.
The couple are currently being held in Waukesha County Jail and are scheduled to appear in court later this afternoon for a preliminary hearing.
A Waukesha County Circuit Court judge committed Richard Wilson, 17, of Fox Point, to life in a state mental health facility this morning. Wilson was charged with killing his grandfather, Ronald Siepmann, 78, of the Town of Merton, on May 8.
Wilson pleaded guilty to first degree intentional homicide, but Judge William Domina found him not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect. The teenager originally entered an insanity plea in September, but changed his plea to guilty at the Thursday morning hearing.
Domina made the determination based on a report from Dr. Deborah Collins, a psychiatrist and the head of the state’s forensics unit. Her report indicated that at the time of the murder, Wilson was not able to discern right from wrong, nor could he “appreciate the wrongfulness of his conduct”.
Thus, Wilson pleaded guilty to committing the murder, but the judge found him not mentally responsible for his actions at the time. The Wisconsin Department of Health and Human Services will now place Wilson in a state mental health facility for life, but according to Waukesha County District Attorney Brad Schimel, Wilson could eventually petition for his release.
According to the criminal complaint, the teenager’s mother said her son suffers from schizophrenia. Dr. Collins’s report indicated that Wilson began suffering from psychotic disorders in the fall of 2010.
Schimel said that Wilson was delusional and that he suffered from a “clear disconnect with reality,” at the time of the murder, but a court-appointed psychiatrist concluded that he was competent to stand trial.
“Competency is here and now,” Schimel explained after the hearing. “How is the person right at this moment? The insanity part always goes back to the moment when they’re committing the offense.”
The criminal complaint said that Wilson used an ax to bludgeon Siepmann to death as the family gathered at his Town of Merton home for a Mother’s Day celebration. Siepmann was the founder of Siepmann Realty.
“In the hours before the attack there were family members that were very concerned that Richard’s behaviors had got very bizarre, and they were frightened,” said Schimel. “They were doing their best to monitor him.”
“They’re a close family that enjoyed celebrating a lot of things together,” Schimel said of the Siepmann family. “That’s why they were all there for Mother’s Day. The suffering was just palpable.”
“It’s a terrible pain that I can’t imagine going through as a family. They’re trying to heal.”
April A. Smart, 66, has been identified as the victim of a fatal house fire in the Town of Mukwonago around 12:30 a.m. yesterday morning, according to Town of Mukwonago Police. The fire occurred on Road X.
The Waukesha County Medical Examiner's Office conducted an autopsy and determined Smart died from soot and smoke inhalation.
Smart's daughter, Dina L. Puerner, 42, was taken to Waukesha Memorial Hospital for smoke inhalation. She is reportedly still in the hospital, and her condition is unknown.
Police report that the Village of Mukwonago Police Department received a 911 call from the residence altering them to the fire, and that the caller complained of having difficulty breathing. Upon arrival, the first officer found the house engulfed in flames and Puerner in the driveway.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation by the Waukesha County Sheriff's Department and state fire marshal, but does not appear to be suspicious at this time.
It appears there were no working smoke detectors in the home.
If you want to experience an old-fashioned Christmas this weekend then head to the prairie – North Prairie, that is.
The sleepy little town on Highway 59 just west of Waukesha turns into a Victorian Christmas wonderland from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday.
Greet folks dressed in Victorian costumes and elves scurrying around on their last-minute rounds. The sound of clip-clopping hooves means a bouncy horse and buggy ride is in the offing. And what would the holiday season be without the merry songs of carolers who will be strolling down Main Street.
All of downtown will be in a holiday mood. Take a break at Sports Page, Tenerelli’s, Lucy’s and ZaZing! for holiday food and beverages. Try a handful of free prairie popcorn and a cup of hot cocoa at Fun Rental while watching elves race for prizes.
At St. John’s Lutheran Church, you’ll find a craft and baked goods fair plus make-and-take ornament and cookie decorating stations for kids. Find everyday gifts and gift certificates at Deanna & Friends, Bill’s Mini Mart, JAKs and L&M Auto.
Santa will be in town for photo ops with the kids, who will want to play the Candy Land Game to win some fun prizes.
So dress warm and mingle with your friends, neighbors and some folks that stepped out of the pages of a Dickens’ novel in downtown North Prairie this Saturday.
North Prairie United Methodist Church, 107 North Main Street, North Prairie, will hold its annual Service of Hope and Light on Sunday, Dec 18, at 4 p.m.
The service is for those who find it difficult to celebrate Christmas because they have experienced the loss of a loved one, a divorce or other difficult circumstances. The non-denominational service will focus on the hope in the midst of suffering. All are welcome.
Representative David Craig (R-Town of Vernon) and 15 state legislators sent a letter today to Secretary Mike Huebsch urging the Department of Administration (DOA) to enforce the Wisconsin State Facilities Access Policy, which went into effect on December 1, 2011.
“We are simply requesting that the DOA uphold the rule of law uniformly for all groups,” said Representative Craig. “For months now, there’s been a double standard for how group events are treated at the Capitol. Those groups that willingly obey the law are required to obtain permits where necessary and comply with all of the rules, but those groups that ignore the rules do so without consequence. That practice is unacceptable.
“We adamantly agree that free speech should be protected,” continued Representative Craig, “but it must be protected for everyone, without favoring one group over another. The State Capitol is a forum for free speech but we have rules to ensure that no one person or group’s free speech rights trump another person or group’s free speech rights.”
The letter expresses the legislators’ concerns with the disruption to the peoples’ business in the State Capitol caused by daily audible disruptions at all hours of the working day both inside and outside the Capitol.
For the first time in years, the Pewaukee football team played Arrowhead this year, meeting the Warhawks in a nonconference season opener.
Clay Iverson didn’t know it at the time, but it was a matchup he’d need to get used to. The Warhawks just became his No. 1 rival.
Following approval from the Mukwonago School Board on Monday, the school hired Iverson to become its new football coach, replacing Bill Schulte, who was relieved from his duties following the 2011 season.
Iverson, who spent seven years with the Pirates, compiled a 57-19 record during his time there, taking over a program that had gone 2-7 in 2004 and rehabilitating it immediately. Both his 2008 and 2009 teams entered the playoffs undefeated, with the latter falling to eventual Division 3 state champion Reedsburg in a Level 2 nail-biter.
The Pirates have fallen to a state finalist in the playoffs in each of the past three years, including a 14-13 loss to Classic 8 foe Catholic Memorial in Level 1 of the 2010 playoffs. Pewaukee bounced back to top CMH in this year’s first round, then topped unbeaten Kewaskum in Level 2.
"There’re some wins and some titles that I’m very proud of, but (I’m most proud of) the family atmosphere and the character in our young men," Iverson said. "We took a program that had five or six code violations and suspensions in one year, and in seven years, I don’t think we had that total. It was a change in culture. We won four conference titles in seven years and did it in three different leagues. It’s the young men that I was fortunate to coach; I’ll look back on them the fondest."
Iverson, 35, said he anticipates the same family atmosphere in Mukwonago, and he already has some first hand experience. Wife Emily is a business teacher at the high school, and 6-year-old son Calvin attends Rolling Hills Elementary School. The family, which currently resides in Waukesha, also includes 3-year-old Cory.
"I heard about the opening and we were in the playoffs still," he said. "Obviously it caught my attention, but it was nothing I moved on until the season was over. It was on my radar for a while. Any job in the Classic 8 is an attractive job, but especially in Mukwonago because my wife is teaching there. They had their ducks in a row and they handled things very professionally, and they definitely had a really thorough yet very efficient process."
Iverson will also teach business in the district. The former defensive lineman and linebacker with New Berlin Eisenhower and the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire has always been aware of Mukwonago’s football tradition.
"I have so much respect for that program," he said. "I went to college with two all state players from Mukwonago and heard them tell stories about coach (Keith) Hensler and the battles they had against Arrowhead and teams like that. When I came back here and got into coaching, Mukwonago has always been there as a way to do things. When I wrote my cover letter, it gave me goose bumps to think I was even applying for that job."
Among the players Iverson has coached is J.J. Watt, who later played at the University of Wisconsin and became the 11th overall selection in the NFL Draft this past April by the Houston Texans. Younger brother Derek Watt is also a part of the UW football program.
Iverson expressed admiration for the work done by Schulte, as well as the established youth program that has helped foster the longstanding use of the "power option" offense.
"I’ve done some things that have been successful for me, and there are a lot of good systems -- it comes down to the kids over the system," he said. "What we do on offense, we’ll hopefully be multiple like we’ve always been (at Pewaukee). But I don’t think you go into a place like Mukwonago and start turning over every cart, because there’s a lot of good things that are there."
He said he hoped to blend coaches he had worked with in the past along with coaches already in the Mukwonago system to cultivate the best staff possible.
"The goal of high-school football is to produce young men for life, not making a living blocking and tackling," Iverson said. "You need to get guys that can do that. We’ll definitely run a character-based program just like they’ve always had at Mukwonago and I’ve always had at Pewaukee.
"I know it’s a lot of work, but I really want to make sure the Mukwonago community is proud of what they see on Friday nights. We’ll work like crazy."
Pictured: Clay Iverson coaches Pewaukee's football team during Level 3 of the WIAA playoffs in November (Photo by Scott Ash)
Flocks of migrating flamingos mysteriously appeared in Sussex over the course of November and the first part of December. Their appearance prompted enough concern from Sussex residents that many opted to purchase "anti-flock" insurance to protect their yards from the pink invaders.
Historically, flamingo sightings in Sussex have likely been limited to the occasional escapee from the Milwaukee County Zoo, but thanks to several local Girl Scouts, some Sussex residents awoke to find their yards "flocked" by the tropical birds, albeit their plastic counterparts. The Girl Scouts' efforts helped raise enough money to purchase Barnes and Noble Nooks for the library at Templeton Middle School.
In a creative twist on fundraising, Kate Meagher, Lexi Detweiller and Emily Fassbender, all Girl Scouts and students at Templeton, developed an idea to place plastic flamingos in Sussex lawns - a phenomenon known as "flocking". The girls then asked the homeowners to pay $15 for "bird removal." The same homeowner could then pay an additional $15 to "flock" another home.
The three girls each had a flock at their disposal, leaving helpless Sussex residents defenseless against the flamingo migration across the village. Each night, the birds found new targets, and on the weekends, homeowners in the know could purchase "anti-flock" insurance for $10, guaranteeing their yard's safety.
The flamingos did not migrate without casualties, though. In fact, two entire flocks turned up missing, and their whereabouts remain unknown. Another flock lost a single member, only to turn up in a high school student's truck.
With the onset of winter, readers can rest assured of their yards' safety. The now-frozen ground make it impossible for the girls to plant the plastic birds in the ground. According to other sources, however, the birds may be migrating south for the winter.
Kate, Lexi and Emily ultimately earned more than $1,100, which they used to purchase seven Nooks for the middle school library. They plan to apply any extra fundraising money to purchase a protection plan for each device.
Silver Award Project
The girls embarked on this unique effort in pursuit of the Silver Award, the highest award given to Cadette Girl Scouts, ages 11-14. The Silver Award is the second-highest award in Girl Scouts, representing the culmination of years of other service projects, leadership experience and community service.
For Kate, Lexi and Emily, the project began two years ago, when, while in sixth grade, they began brainstorming ways to make a positive effect on the world. The following year they discussed ideas with community leaders and began researching and investigating various project ideas. This year, they executed their flamingo fundraiser.
Templeton principal Patty Polczynski said the three girls came to her last year in hopes of finding a sustainable community service project that would live on beyond the project's completion.
"We talked about what kinds of needs might be a 21st-century need to move us in a further direction with our school," Polczynski said.
The school had three Nooks that students could check out and take home for two weeks, but financial limitations prohibited the school from purchasing more.
"We were amazed. We were thinking one or two, but seven colored Nooks is absolutely amazing," said Templeton librarian Anita Paque.
Paque said that making the technology available to more students will help to promote reading and technology use to more students.
In appreciation for their efforts, Templeton presented each girl with certificates of appreciation and $20 gift certificates for the school's book fair.
The final project requires each Girl Scout to spend at least 50 hours on their respective projects. In order to achieve their fundraising goals, the girls also held a rummage sale and offered organized babysitting services to parents during the holiday shopping season.
Arrowhead's varsity boys basketball team didn't have a single player in double figures on Tuesday, but 13 scored in the team's 64-45 victory over Kettle Moraine.
Max Hannratty and Kenny Finco each scored 8 points for the Warhawks.
Ben Varick scored 12 points for Kettle Moraine. Beck Chase scored 10 points.
The Kettle Moraine girls basketball team gave Arrowhead a serious push, but the Warhawks bounced back in time to log a 46-38 win Tuesday in the Classic 8 Conference.
The Lasers led at the half thanks to Olivia Weber's rebound basket at the buzzer, 17-16, and the score was knotted at 22-22 late in the third quarter. But Amanda Bauer and Jenny Smith scored 11 of the next 12 Arrowhead points, giving the state-ranked Warhawks an edge as large as 12 points at one point.
Bauer finished with 15 points, and Arrowhead hit 21 of 25 free throws. Weber had 15 for Kettle Moraine.
The Wildlife In Need Center reports an overwhelming outpouring of support and concern for Dakota's recovery as his improvement continues.
After losing 27-percent of his bodyweight his muscle mass began to deteriorate in order to keep his body functioning. His outlook was guarded due to fears that his system wouldn't handle solid foods well after reaching such an emaciated state during his three weeks in the woods. However, after slowing increasing his intake, it appears the worst of his physical recovery period is over.
Following bloodwork on Monday, Dakota's veterinarian said most of his blood values have returned to within normal reference ranges. Further tests will be run today with results expected by noon on Thursday.
"He still has a journey ahead of him, not only physically, but mentally as well, before he'll be prepared to return to work," said Wildlife Education Coordinator and Dakota's handler, Leslie Kiehl, "but for Dakota it's worth all the effort."
Lena Jenison, a 2007 graduate of Arrowhead High School serving in the Peace Corps, died of injuries sustained in an auto accident on Dec. 20 in Mozambique. Fellow Peace Corps volunteer Elizabeth Alden Landis, 23, from Yarrow Point, Wash., also perished in the accident.
The Peace Corps confirmed their deaths in a statement released Wednesday afternoon.
Jenison, 22, of Hartland, graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in May. In September, she traveled to Mozambique to begin her preservice training for the Peace Corps. She was officially sworn in as a Peace Corps volunteer Dec. 8, and she was slated to remain in Mozambique until December 2013.
Jenison served as an education volunteer at a local high school near Chibuto, Mozambique, where she was assigned to teach biology. Chibuto lies in the south-central region of the country.
According to the statement, she lived with a host family and enjoyed learning the customs of her new community.
"Alden and Lena were both committed and dedicated Peace Corps volunteers who were excited to teach in their new Peace Corps communities," said Peace Corps Director Aaron S. Williams. "This is a tragic loss for the entire Peace Corps community, including their fellow volunteers in Mozambique. Our thoughts are with both of their families during this difficult time."
Jenison and Alden were two of 155 Peace Corps volunteers currently serving in the African nation. Most volunteers work in fields related to education and health.
While at UW-Madison, Jenison majored in biology and Spanish. She is survived by her parents and a brother and sister in Hartland.
Alden was a 2010 graduate of Boston University, where she majored in biochemistry-molecular biology and minored in French. She is survived by her parents and two sisters in Washington.
Further details regarding the circumstances surrounding the accident were not available as of press time.
Selfless acts happen everyday in and around Mukwonago and to honor those residents the Mukwonago Chief is kicking off its annual Five who Give campaign.
Readers can nominate anyone who lives or works in the Mukwonago, Big Bend, Vernon, East Troy, Eagle, Palmyra or North Prairie area that they feel is deserving of recognition for their dedication to making the community a better place.
To nominate someone, simply send the individual's name, address and phone number, along with a description of why you think that person deserves to be recognized as one of the Chief's Five Who Give, to Mukwonago Publications, 111 N. Rochester St. Suite 3, Mukwonago, WI 53149, drop it by our office, , or e-mail your nomination to Andrea Budde at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anonymous nominations for Five Who Give will not be accepted.
Nomination deadline is Jan. 10.
The five honorees will be selected from nominations received by the Chief staff; and the stories and photos of each will run in an upcoming issue of the Mukwonago Chief.
HAWS, the Humane Animal Welfare Society of Waukesha County, has partnered with the Blood Center of Wisconsin for a life-saving (human) blood drive from 2:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. today, Dec. 22 at the shelter at 701 Northview Road, Waukesha.
Participants will be entered to win an autographed football from Green Bay Packers tightend Jermicahel Finley.
Registration is not required, but available online at www.bcw.edu/HAWS or by calling HAWS at (262) 542-8851.
Appointments are scheduled in 15 minute intervals.