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News & Notes: May 29

May 29, 2013

Rep. Petri

holding town meeting

Mequon — District Rep. Tom Petri, R-Fond du Lac, will stop in Mequon on June 1 as part of a series of are town hall meetings.

The meeting takes place in the police training room of the Public Safety Building, 11300 N. Buntrock Ave., from 1 to 2 p.m.

Brown Deer teachers seek China travel companions

Brown Deer — High school teachers Sheri Fritsch and Fran Peter are holding an informational meeting at 6 p.m. June 4 in the high school north commons about an upcoming 2014 trip to China, which they are opening up to community students and parents.

The trip is planned from June 26 through July 7, 2014, with the possibility of an added two days in Hong Kong. Planned highlights include visits to Beijing, Xi-an, Yangshuo, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tienanmen Square, Beijing Zoo, the Great Wall, terracotta warriors, and Victoria Peak, as well as a school visit and other cultural experiences.

Those interested can contact Fritsch at (262) 376-1303 or Peter at (920) 528-8708.

Finance Director appointed to WEDC

Shorewood — Stephanie Walker, current Shorewood Finance Director, was named last week as the Chief Financial Officer for the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, according to a village news release.

The WEDC was created in 2011 by Gov. Scott Walker and the Legislature to replace the Department of Commerce. As Finance Director since 2009, Walker — who bears no relation to the governor — has run various accounting, long-range financial planning, and budgeting tasks, helping the village earn several awards for financial reporting and budget presentation.

"Stephanie's skills, expertise and positive personal attributes have been a major driving force in the ongoing, award winning fiscal success of the village of Shorewood," Village Manager Chris Swartz said in the release. "While her departure is a major loss for our village, we are proud that she will continue to work on all of our behalf with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation."

School Board approves

alternative education program

Brown Deer — The Brown Deer School Board on Tuesday approved partnering with Second Chance Education Program for the 2013-14 school.

Second Chance Education program is a 21-month integrated educational experience combining youth apprenticeship and classroom education. It is designed to serve academically disengaged high school juniors and seniors who need an alternative pathway to high school graduation. The program will select two students from Brown Deer High School. Those students have to go through a formal interview process to be accepted into the program. Manufacturing and local businesses provide resources necessary to provide real world experiences and education.

School Board member Lisa Zielinski said this is an "excellent opportunity" for students.

Two new courses

approved at Brown Deer

Brown Deer — The Brown Deer School Board on Tuesday approved two new courses at the middle school and high school for the 2013-14 school year.

Interactive music experience will be offered in the middle and high school, and nonfiction critique will be offered at the high school.

Funding formula talks

to proceed in open session

Fox Point — Following closed session consultations between the North Shore Fire Department board of directors and the organization's legal counsel, negotiations over an updated 2016 funding formula will take place in open session, Fire Chief Robert Whitaker said.

At a special meeting last week, several board members had insisted the negotiations take place in closed session so that a "frank conversation" could occur.

Though Whitaker couldn't divulge exactly what was said in closed session, he said that he expects the funding formula discussion to show up on the NSFD board's next regular meeting agenda in early June.

District administration

losing key staff members

Mequon — The Mequon-Thiensville School District will be seeking to fill two of its top administrative positions, with the resignation of its directors of both pupil services and curriculum, assessment and instruction.

The School Board last week approved the resignations of Hughes George, director of pupil services, and Eric Dimmitt, director of curriculum, assessment and instruction.

Superintendent Demond Means said George has accepted a position as superintendent of the Sunnybrook School District in Illinois, and Dimmitt will join the University of Wisconsin-Platteville as an associate professor. The board thanked George and Dimmitt for their dedicated service over the past five years.

Their resignations are effective June 30, with the district beginning the process of filling the positions in the near future, Means said.

District recognizes Homestead,

Steffen forensics teams

Mequon — Students from Homestead High School and Steffen Middle School recently placed highly in state forensics tournaments.

The School Board last week acknowledged the students for their achievements.

Middle school students competed against about 80 other middle schools and more than 1,400 students throughout the state, earning a state championship title, and high school forensics team members competed against more than 1,000 students, with 19 of 25 advancing to semi-finals and six advancing to finals. Homestead placed third overall among division one schools.

Three high school students also will be traveling to Philadelphia this week for nationals, said Angie Cicero, Homestead forensics team coach.

Cyrier takes over

as School Board president

Mequon — Suzette Urbashich will step down from her role as president of the Mequon-Thiensville School Board, with Mary Cyrier taking over the position.

The School Board last week chose Cyrier for the position, in addition to electing its other board officers.

Cyrier was the only board member nominated for president. Stephanie Clark will serve as vice president, James Liska will retain his role as treasurer, and Kathryn Houpt was elected as clerk.

Cyrier thanked Urbashich for the leadership and expertise she brought to the board during her time as president. She held the role for six years, and has served on the School Board for a total of 17 years.

Village Board OKs receipt

of gifts from organizations

Thiensville — The Thiensville Village Board last week approved $6,250 worth of donations from three organizations.

Two organizations — the local Schmit Ford dealership and the Mequon-Thiensville Optimist Club — have donated $100 and $150, respectively, toward the village's Bike Safety Day event.

The Thiensville-Mequon Lion's Club has donated funds toward two efforts: $5,000 for improvements at Village Park and $1,000 for police to distribute baseball cards to youth.

Police to use donated

vehicle for summer events

Thiensville — The Thiensville Police Department will add an all-terrain vehicle to its fleet on a temporary basis this summer. Cedarburg-based Cedar Creek Sales and Service is donating the use of the vehicle to Thiensville.

"This is not a patrol vehicle, but a specialty vehicle to assist our officers in moving through large groups of visitors to get to either a call or for crowd control," Police Chief Scott Nicholson said. "The vehicle would be equipped with red and blue emergency lights, but would not be used as a front-line emergency vehicle."

The vehicle will be added to the village's insurance policy. No further costs will be incurred.

Water distribution project

completed at Laurel Acres

Thiensville — All properties within the Laurel Acres development in Thiensville have been connected to the municipal water system.

The Village Board last week voted in favor of a resolution stating properties will be levied a special assessment for the upgrade. The village also is taking out $460,000 in bonds to cover the costs in the short-term.

Village applying for grant

to spruce up Village Park

Thiensville — The village of Thiensville is applying for a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources stewardship grant in an effort to undertake a number of projects at Village Park, 250 Elm St.

If approved, the grant dollars will go toward such projects as restroom renovations within the park and installation of a pier along the Milwaukee River.

The village's projects at Village Park will cost about $411,000. If approved, the DNR grant would cover half the cost; the village would be responsible for funding the remaining half.

The Thiensville Village Board last week voted to move forward with the grant application.

Yoga studio holding

Saturday sessions at park

Thiensville — A Mequon-based yoga studio has been given authority to hold hour-long yoga sessions at Village Park, 250 Elm St., from 9 to 10 a.m. Saturdays between June 15 and Aug. 24.

Owners of Strive Yoga had requested permission to hold a class on the grounds. Sessions will be free to all participants.

The Thiensville Village Board approved the request last week.

Shorewood schools business manager leaving

Shorewood — Shorewood School District Business Manager Mark Boehlke has accepted an assistant superintendent position in the Sheboygan Area School District and will leave in June, according to a district news release.

In his new post, Boehlke will be in charge of business and operational services. He has been with the Shorewood district since 2006.

"As hard as it is to leave, I am looking forward to the new challenges and the opportunity to work in my hometown," Boehlke said in the release.

Superintendent Martin Lexmond said in the release that the district will immediately begin searching for a replacement, and may hire a search firm to screen candidates before finalists are brought before the Finance and Facilities Committee, community members, staff and School Board as part of the hiring process.

Village creates

working foreman position

Thiensville — The Thiensville Village Board gave the go-ahead to create a working foreman position. Village Administrator Dianne Robertson requested the job be added to the public works department.

Andy LaFond, public works director, has undertaken a number of new responsibilities, including project management activities, grant applications and technology services at Village Hall.

Robertson said she will not be hiring an additional staffer to fill the foreman position. Rather, she has authority to use up to $5,200 annually to fund the position. The responsibilities within the position will be assumed by an existing DPW staffer.

Police departments

enforcing seat belt use

Fox Point — The Fox Point and Thiensville police departments will join hundreds of other police departments throughout Wisconsin for the annual "Click it or Ticket" mobilization through June 2.

The program puts special emphasis on stopping motorists who are not buckled not just because it's the law, but because it saves lives.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, more than half of the Wisconsin drivers killed in traffic crashes were not wearing their safety belts and approximately one of five of them do not wear safety belts.

"Tragically, too many people are needlessly injured or killed because they believed a crash would never happen to them so they don't buckle up," Fox Point Sgt Doug Dubnicka said.

Fox Point Police Chief Thomas J. Czaja pointed out it only takes a few seconds to "click it" and that may avoid a traffic stop, a ticket and most important the lives of drivers and passengers.

Well permits needed for properties

with both water sources

Bayside — The Village Board approved an ordinance revision dealing with the rules for households planning to use water from wells even after they are connected to Mequon's municipal water.

The revised ordinance requires that those property owners obtain licenses from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, which includes testing the well for various kinds of contaminants at the owner's expense, in order to keep track of the well's water quality.

Additionally, water from wells cannot be routed through pipes that carry municipal water, and residents must inform the DNR when they plan to stop using their wells.

Village Attorney Chris Jaekels said that the revisions are bringing Bayside's ordinances in line with state rules.

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