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Mequon OKs 96-unit apartment complex

Dec. 07, 2011 8:46 a.m. | Over the objections of neighbors, the Mequon Plan Commission this week approved plans for a 96-unit senior apartment complex called Riverwalk Highlands for 10908 N. Cedarburg Road. The complex will have one- and two-bedroom apartments, a community center, exercise room and library.

About five years ago a different developer proposed condominium development, River Trace, for the site which, at that time, was zoned for business.

Several residents addressed a zoning change made at that time to allow for condominiums rather than office space. The zoning change was made conditioned on approval of the condominium plans. They were approved although not built.

According to Assistant Community Development Director Jac Zader, the zoning change stands although the condominiums were not built.

A new developer, United Financial Group, asked for apartments which are allowed under the institutional zoning approved five years ago.

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Initial Reaction: Talking with star Waukesha soccer players Dani Rhodes, Emily Cervantes

12:05 p.m. | JP sits down with top girls soccer players Dani Rhodes of Waukesha West and Emily Cervantes of Catholic Memorial. JP also begrudgingly talks about the decision facing Wisconsin forward Nigel Hayes, and the guys talk about Cubs-hate in the Milwaukee market and look at a number of WIAA spring sports storylines. Each week, Lake Country/Now sports director JR Radcliffe and Time Warner Cable Sports Channel's JP Cadorin chat about the Wisconsin sports scene, with an emphasis on Milwaukee-area preps. Find the podcast on Stitcher and iTunes.

Tenacious Nicolet boys tennis team repeats as NSC champ

10:22 a.m. | He's long into his highly successful career with the Nicolet boys tennis team, but veteran Knights' coach Tim Koppa is happy to say that he can still be surprised from time-to-time.

He's spent a lot of time this spring repeating a variation of this line as his youthful team succeeds again and again.

But after a strong regular season, Koppa was happy to say that on a gorgeous pair of days May 18 and 19, the Knights thoroughly and completely did the job, claiming four flights, including three in singles en route to defending their North Shore Conference championship.

"This group of boys is doing so many special things," he said, "especially given how many top-ranked kids we lost last year (to graduation)."

The Knights, who were also fifth in the inaugural Wisconsin High School Coaches Tennis Classic, May 20 and 21, took part in WIAA sub-sectional play on Monday, May 23 and sent qualifiers back to their own courts on Wednesday, May 25 for sectional competition (Marquette is the host).

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Overturned truck closes I-43 at Brown Deer Road (UPDATED)

8:36 a.m. | An overturned truck has caused I-43 northbound at Brown Deer Road to close on Tuesday morning, May 24.

The incident occurred at 7:10 a.m.

All northbound lanes are closed and delays are reported in excess of 3 miles. The Milwaukee County Sheriff's Department estimated the closure would last at least two hours.

UPDATE:The Wisconsin Department of Transportation reported that the incident was cleared at about 10:15 a.m.

1 person killed in Ozaukee County crash

May 23, 2016 8:47 p.m. | One person was killed Monday afternoon in a crash on northbound I-43 in Ozaukee County, the Sheriff's Office said.

The crash was reported shortly before 2:30 p.m. at Pioneer Road, according to a news release from the Ozaukee County Sheriff's Office.

According to the release, a tire blew on a northbound SUV, causing the vehicle to roll over and strike the median barrier before coming to a rest in the southbound lanes.

A female passenger was killed when she was ejected from the back seat of the vehicle, and the driver and a front seat passenger, both males, were taken to a hospital with injuries that are not life-threatening, according to the release.

The crash shut down the southbound lanes of I-43 at Pioneer Road for about two hours and caused traffic backups of three miles, according to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.

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Glendale officials balk at allowing chickens

May 23, 2016 8:36 p.m. | Glendale — In a close 4-2 vote, the Glendale Common Council voted to prohibit backyard chickens on Monday, May 23.

Backyard chickens are part of a growing local food movement that prioritizes local, hormone-free and environmentally sustainable food sources. Backyard chickens are allowed in Milwaukee, Wauwatosa and other local communities in recent years.

Glendale's position on chickens had been more ambiguous. The city had an old ordinance that required a permit from a health officer to keep chickens within 75 feet of a home.

In recent years, though, Glendale had made an informal practice of denying all permit applications.

When Glendale resident Mike Theine's application was denied, he contacted Mayor Bryan Kennedy, who looked into the city's chicken policies. To clarify the city's position, Glendale City Attorney John Fuchs amended the ordinance to prohibit all chickens.

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Shorewood students get 'once in a lifetime' opportunity to meet celebrity alumni

May 23, 2016 5:06 p.m. | Shorewood — Shorewood High School students had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet two respected screenwriters and a famous musician who once walked the halls of their high school.

David and Jerry Zucker, the creators of "Airplane!" and "The Naked Gun" trilogy, joined fellow SHS alumni and Talking Heads keyboardist/guitarist Jerry Harrison in a day's worth of activities that ended with them receiving the Shorewood Tradition of Excellence award. Jim Abrahams, who worked with the Zuckers on their most famous movies, was also honored but was unable to attend the festivities.

As they were touring their old stomping grounds, they took some time to meet with Shorewood High School students and answer their questions about their time at SHS, their artistic inspiration and the risks they took to reach their dreams.

All three alums remembered Shorewood as a creative period in their lives. Harrison took piano lessons during his time at Atwater Elementary School, and in high school, he played with a rock band called The Walkers. David Zucker also played with a band called The Chevelles. They remember all of the high school rock bands sharing equipment because they didn't have the money to buy their own gear.

They remembered there was a strong local music scene among high school kids in the area. That was in the 1960s, when the counterculture movement was just starting to take hold.

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Memorial Day ceremony planned in Whitefish Bay

May 23, 2016 1:10 p.m. | Whitefish Bay — Whitefish Bay's second annual Memorial Day ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, May 30 at Armory Park, 1225 E. Henry Clay St.

The ceremony will be an opportunity for veterans to connect with one another and for the community to honor our country's fallen service members. The event will also give Whitefish Bay families a way to teach children the meaning behind Memorial Day and to witness traditional military customs. The 2015 program attracted nearly 300 Whitefish Bay residents and veterans, and was a meaningful tribute to those who gave their lives serving our country.

This year's keynote speaker will be Kevin Nicholson, a combat veteran with the United States Marine Corps that served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Nicholson was awarded the Bronze Star, cited by Task Force Commander as the "best Counter-Improvised Explosive Device (IED) Team Leader in Afghanistan" for work in leading a highly specialized 50-man team in responding to over 100 IED detonations and discoveries over six months.

Shorewood students get buzz cuts for cancer

May 23, 2016 1:07 p.m. | Shorewood — Shorewood High School students are getting buzz cuts this week to raise funds for the Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer organization.

Shorewood students consistently raise over $15,000 each year for the MACC Fund and have donated more than 300 inches of hair to Pantene Beautiful Lengths to make wigs for those who have lost their hair to cancer treatment. This year's event takes place on Wednesday, May 25.

Whitefish Bay High School held a similar "Buzz Cuts for Cancer" event on Friday, May 20. The fundraiser, organized by the Bay Gives Back program, raised $6,907 for the MACC Fund. More than 40 students buzzed their head and donated their hair.

Smulyan resigns from Fox Point-Bayside School Board

May 23, 2016 11:53 a.m. | Fox Point — Fox Point-Bayside School Board member David Smulyan has resigned from the school board after three years of service.

Smulyan was appointed in June 2013 to fill an empty seat on the school board. He was elected in April 2014 and is in the final year of his three-year term. Smulyan's professional responsibilities have changed in the last few months, and he is no longer able to serve on the school board. He plans to serve through June 30.

"The board will miss David's insight and his desire to do what is best for all of the children of the district," said Fox Point-Bayside School Board President Mike Weidner. "We wish him well in his future endeavors."

The school board is seeking candidates to fill out the remainder of Smulyan's term, which runs through April 2017. The board's process and timeline will be discussed on June 6 during a committee of the whole meeting in the district office conference room of Stormonth Elementary School.

Residents in the Fox Point-Bayside School District wishing to serve on the board are asked to send a written statement to Dr. Vance Dalzin, District Administrator, Fox Point Bayside School District, 7301 N. Longacre Road, Fox Point, WI 53217. Dalzin can also be contacted via email at vdalzin@foxbay.org.

Homestead grad Blake Leeson grows into volleyball and becomes a national champ at Ohio State

May 22, 2016 2:05 p.m. | At the time, the moment was as 2014 Homestead graduate Blake Leeson called it, "almost surreal and funny."

It was match point in the NCAA Division I men's volleyball championship on May 7 against BYU and veteran Ohio State setter Christy Blough threw a wink at the 6-foot-8 Buckeyes redshirt freshman middle hitter and asked him "What do you want?"

Leeson answered that he wanted the ball. He got a perfect set, slammed the shot down the middle and the Buckeyes were national champions.

And now Leeson, who three years ago was wondering whether his athletic career was over due to a traumatic injury, and who only started seriously playing volleyball four years ago, is marveling at how karma, good luck, hard work and having a body "that decided it wanted to do a new sport" conspired to put him on top of the collegiate athletic world.

"I'm so lucky," he said. "The coach (at Ohio State) gave me an opportunity and I feel so blessed to have been able to take advantage of it."

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Top beer gardens in the North Shore suburbs

May 19, 2016 2:20 p.m. | Ten years ago, the idea of drinking a tap beer in a park seemed unthinkable. Now we have a half dozen beer gardens just in the North Shore.

If you're looking for an excuse to go outside or looking for a fun group activity, these beer gardens are a fun, family activity during the summer months. All of the beer gardens offer non-alcoholic drinks, as well.

Estabrook Beer Garden

Estabrook Beer Garden started the beer garden renaissance in 2012, and claims to be America's first public beer garden since Prohibition. The beer garden is packed with people on sunny days, offering beautiful views of the park and Milwaukee River. With a $5 refundable deposit, you will be served either a half liter or full liter glass beer stein filled with beers from the Hofbrau Munich Brewery. Traditional Munich beers are $6 for a half-liter, and $11 for a full liter. Seasonal specialties like Maibock, Sommerbier and Oktoberfest cost an extra dollar. In addition to bratwursts, hot dogs and baked pretzels, the beer garden has started serving fish fries on Friday and schnitzel on Saturday. The beer garden opens at noon and last call is at 9 p.m.

Hubbard Park Beer Garden

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North Shore tennis teams prepare for NSC tourney

May 18, 2016 1:35 p.m. | Mental toughness for athletes can take on many aspects, including overcoming injuries, tough competition, long delays and bad weather.

Rarely do they have to deal with all of them all at the same time, but that's what the North Shore area teams at the Manitowoc Boys Tennis Invitational had to do on Saturday, May 14.

Because many of the players, coaches and the few fans who braved the 40-degree conditions with high winds were caught looking up at the dull gray sky at points during the day and saying either to themselves or out loud: "Snow? In May? Really?"

Unfortunately, yes. Really.

But as noted, the players from Nicolet, Whitefish Bay and Homestead were tough, especially Nicolet, which prepared for the defense of its North Shore Conference title this week by winning the event.

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North Shore golfers gain perspective in many ways

May 18, 2016 12:54 p.m. | Finding true meaning in playing through bad weather and heavy competition, the philanthropic and philosophical natures of North Shore area boys golfers were the true winners this past weekend.

As Whitefish Bay coach Frank Donadio wrote: "It's all about perspective."

Playing under awful conditions, Homestead and Whitefish Bay played strong golf and raised lots of money for the MACC Fund at the Lake Country Charity Invitational at Brown Deer on May 14, while Nicolet battled cool conditions and diabolical course conditions to win the Bender Invite at West Bend Lakes on May 13.

The teams took part in the last North Shore Conference mini-meet of the season on Monday, May 16, and will take part in the North Shore 18-hole finale at Washington County at 8 a.m. Thursday, May 19.

The race for the championship is too close to call.

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Faced with growing enrollment, Brown Deer transforms locker room into classroom

May 18, 2016 12:47 p.m. | Brown Deer —Brown Deer Elementary School will transform a locker room into a classroom to provide space for a growing student population.

Construction is expected to start this summer.

The Brown Deer School Board voted on Tuesday, May 10, to borrow $300,000 from the state trust fund for the project. With interest, the project would cost $324,273.

By borrowing money from the state trust fund, the Brown Deer School District will be able to refinance two existing debts with the state trust fund program that would save the district $43,000.

"If you deduct the $43,000 in savings, really by borrowing this money in the long term we are saving $19,000 in interest," said Jeff Pruefer, the district's finance director. "You could really think of this project as borrowing $300,000, and in the end we'll only pay $284,000 for this."

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Hanson looking to instill belief in Nicolet boys basketball players

May 18, 2016 12:46 p.m. | New Nicolet boys basketball coach and former Wauwatosa East All-State star Al Hanson won't be as demonstrative on the sidelines as his former mentor, the legendary Red Raiders coach George Haas.

But he does hope to bring those kind of winning ways with him, and he will lean on Haas when needed.

"I've spoken to him several times the last couple of weeks," Hanson said. "He's been with me every step of the way. I learned a lot from him. I won't be like him on the sideline, but I do have a couple of impersonations."

Hanson, 30, is going to step into the Nicolet job with a lot of winning tradition and attitude, extending not just back to his days when he was an all-state guard for Haas' powerhouse East teams in the early 2000s but also extending to Bruce Pearl's legendary UW-Milwaukee men's team that made a marvelous run to the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2005. Former Nicolet star Joah Tucker was a star on that UWM team.

"I've had some great experiences," Hanson said. "I've been on the pedestal where a lot of these guys (at Nicolet) are trying to get to. I'll bring my experience and my intensity. I pride myself on being one of the most competitive guys around, and I want to instill that in my players.

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