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Glendale's budget down, levy up for 2012

Nov. 15, 2011 3:26 p.m. | Mayor Jerry Tepper praised the department heads, city staff and all city employees for the efforts that led to a decrease of $66,714 in the city's budget for 2012. Without the hard work put in by the department heads to develop budgets that met the goal of maintaining services without increasing spending and without the cooperation of employees in paying more for their fringe benefits, the Common Council's budget challenge would have been even greater.

The council on Monday adopted an $18,899,972 budget with a tax levy of $12,135,043. The levy is up $77,891, the exact amount of increase in the city's debt service fund levy. Under state law, the city is allowed to increase the levy for debt service.

The tax rate for the city's portion of the taxes will increase to $7.64 per $1,000 of assessed value, up from $6.83 per $1,000 a year ago. However, because of a citywide revaluation of property done this year, the impact on individual property owners will vary.

City Administrator Richard Maslowski said a home valued at $200,000 last year is now valued at $177,400. The city's tax on that house for 2012 would be $1,355, a drop of $10 or 1 percent from the tax of $1,366 last year.

Residential property in the city dropped an average of 10.8 percent in the revaluation. If your house dropped 10.8 percent or more, it is likely the city portion of the tax bill will decrease. If it did not drop that much, the city portion will likely increase.

A palace in the sky

2:00 p.m. | Whitefish Bay — As a kid, I would often dream of having a tree house. Most kids probably do.

It's a private castle in the sky, elevated above the drama of social cliques or the stresses of school work. It also lends itself to teenage mischief, the official headquarters of a secret society or a discreet location for an awkward first kiss.

But three lucky boys in Whitefish Bay have more than a tree house — they have a work of art. It looks like a cross between Noah's Ark and a magical orb. In true "Rumage Around" form, I knew I had to get a closer look.

I'm not the only one who was interested. The McCartan family on Devon Street and Bay Ridge Avenue has gotten used to people pulling their cars over to take pictures of their one-of-a-kind tree fort. They are also used to people asking about the shape and design of the structure.

After a quick internet search for treehouse contractors, Brant and Marissa McCartan came across the website for Dustin Feider, a Menomonee Falls native now living in California and designing tree houses as a full-time job.

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92-year-old Shorewood building will be torn down to make way for North Shore Bank building

12:34 p.m. | Shorewood —More than 60 people crammed into the Shorewood Village Hall chambers on Tuesday, July 26, presumably to show their support for North Shore Bank's plans to replace a 92-year-old building with a two-story bank and parking lot.

Several people sat on the floor of the meeting room, while others stood in the hallway outside the meeting room straining their ears to hear a lengthy discussion about traffic studies, parking requirements and zoning codes. Two hours later, when the plan commission allowed comments from the public, person after person approached the podium to say more or less the same thing.

"I've known Noah for many years, I'm a North Shore Bank customer and I get my hair cut at Robert Laurence."

Noah Christensen is the owner of Shorewood Press, a printing press that has been an integral part of the Shorewood community for 23 years. He owns the historic white building at the southeast corner of Oakland Avenue and Kenmore Place that was built by a church in 1924. The building, which is also occupied by Robert Laurence Hair Studio, is not on a historic registry and is said to have structural issues.

Sensing opposition from some community members, Christensen rallied his supporters to come to the meeting and support the bank's project. When the plan commission approved the bank's site plan and drive-thru operations, the crowd cheered as if the Packers had just won the Super Bowl. Nobody spoke in opposition to the plan.

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Nicolet High School hires David Coyle as associate principal

12:04 p.m. | Glendale —Nicolet High School has hired David Coyle as associate prinicpal in anticipation of the 2016-2017 school year.

Coyle has six years of experience as a high school social studies teacher and eight years of administrative experience. Most recently, he served as the dean of students and summer school administrator at Nathan Hale High School in the West Allis-West Milwaukee School District.

Coyle graduated from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a degree in teaching. He went on to receive his masters in administrative leadership from Cardinal Stritch University.

Coyle has been recognized for his strong leadership in building and implementing a school-wide plan for Positive Behavioral Invention and Supports at Nathan Hale High School. His efforts in this program resulted in Nathan Hale being named a PBIS School of Distinction.

Coyle begins his new position Aug. 26

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Shorewood baseball team fought back late in season

11:47 a.m. | It's how you finish that counts.

Shorewood baseball coach Josh Lemke will take that point of view as he assesses the Greyhounds' recently completed 6-23 season.

The Greyhounds had too many lopsided losses early for his taste, found their footing in a late June doubleheader sweep of Brown Deer, went through another tough short stretch and then in the last two weeks played with some verve and energy.

They suffered three both maddening but still heartening one-run losses in the Woodland Conference Tournament, including an opening-game defeat to Western Division champ Greendale, and then used that impetus to turn in a stunning upset of Cedarburg in a WIAA regional semifinal contest.

The magic couldn't quite continue in the regional final to area rival Whitefish Bay, but the game was still competitive.

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Lund is new Nicolet girls basketball coach

11:29 a.m. | Nicolet High School announced that Megan Lund has been hired as the girls head basketball coach for the 2016-17 season. Lund has been the assistant varsity coach for the past three seasons.

"We have a strong leader committed to not only strengthening but re-establishing the tradition of the Nicolet girls basketball program," said Kirk Krychowiak, athletic director at Nicolet. "We believe Coach Lund's dedication to the program and past experience with the team will really help the girls grow and develop their skills as basketball players."

In addition to coaching basketball, Lund coaches the freshman girls volleyball team and served as an assistant coach to the varsity softball team during the recent season. Outside of coaching, Lund has been a wellness educator at Nicolet High School since 2013.

She will take over for Dan Gibbon who has been the coach for the last two years. Gibbon led the Knights to a 5-19 record last season and a 4-19 record in in 2014-15. In both seasons, the team was playing better at the end of the campaign

Lund played basketball at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, where she was named to the WIAC All-Sportsmanship Team. She showed an early interest in sports leadership, serving as team captain during her senior season. Lund was a graduate assistant for the team during the 2012-2013 season when the team broke a WIAC record for the biggest turn-around season.

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Nicolet baseball team improved despite its youth

11:06 a.m. | Nicolet baseball coach Jason Grodsky takes a glass half-full approach to his team's 9-21 record this season.

"We were just so young and inexperienced at the beginning of the season," he said. "We took time to figure out how to be a winning team. I think going in, we had about 10 percent of our pitching back and about 25 percent of our defense, but the guys were willing to work. So the fact that we were able to come back and post a similar record (7-19) to a team last year that was far more experienced was pretty impressive."

The Knights season finished up their season recently with a 10-6 loss to Kewaskum in a WIAA regional semifinal contest.

In that game, Nicolet rallied from an early deficit to make the game close. Grodsky said the effort epitomized the effort the team showed in the last half of the season.

"We really battled the last 10 games or so," he said. "We could have won any of those games."

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Kasmarick adjusting to life as Whitefish Bay athletic director

10:46 a.m. | New Whitefish Bay Athletic and Activities Director Jason Kasmarick has been on the job for about a month.

In that time, he's been a busy person as he prepares to ramp up for the busy fall season.

"It's been a lot of getting to know people at the various buildings, going to baseball games, going to meetings," he said. "It's been very positive."

In his short time on the job so far, he is happy to announce one substantial accomplishment, as former assistant and current girls head coach Rob Dubinski has been named to head up the defending WIAA D2 state champion boys soccer team after Jeff Worzella decided to step down for both professional and personal reasons.

It's a good start as he prepares to put his stamp on an athletic and activities program that was left in good shape by 13-year veteran John Gustavson, who retired earlier this summer. Gustavson will still be around as North Shore Conference co-commissioner.

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Whitefish Bay resident takes home grand prize at the Hottest Kitchen Entrepreneur Challenge

July 25, 2016 10:40 a.m. | Village of Whitefish Bay -Whitefish Bay resident Linnea Harrington was the grand-prize winner of the Hottest Kitchen Entrepreneur Challenge in the Early Stage category Wednesday, July 20, at Milwaukee Area Technical College.

Harrington beat 80 other candidates in the competition. The concept of her business is to create handcrafted and spirited frozen treats called Linnea's Pops & Lickers, LLP. The "pops" are virgin and the "lickers" contain alcohol. Seasonal flavors include strawberry basil lemonade and jalapeno peach margarita for summer, and spiced cranberry orange for fall.

Harrington launched the business in 2014. Her primary goal for the business is to resolve packaging issues and to take manufacturing to the next level.

Harrington won $2,000 in seed money from Reliable Water Services, tuition for a three-credit course at MATC during the 2016-17 academic year, consultation with FaB Wisconsin's Director of Innovation and a one-year membership in FaB. She also won a booth at the 2017 Midwest Foodservice Expo and a prize package worth $400 from Fein Brothers Restaurant Equipment & Supplies.

Social media story on the storms rolling through Milwaukee area

July 21, 2016 1:16 p.m. | A social media story of the storms that moved through the Milwaukee area during the morning of July 21.

Milwaukee's first surf shop rides into Shorewood

July 21, 2016 10:45 a.m. | Shorewood — When Jake Bresette was growing up in Madison, he would often dream of moving to California while watching a surfing DVD he found in a free swag bag.

After graduating high school, he and his girlfriend Alaina headed to Colorado to work at a large ski resort. After two years in recreational paradise, they returned to Madison to be with friends and family. It was around this time that they learned that they didn't have to leave Wisconsin to live the surfer's life. They could surf in Lake Michigan.

After many months of long day trips from Madison to the Milwaukee area, they decided to move to Milwaukee and start their own surf shop. They explored several business districts close to the lake, like Whitefish Bay and the Third Ward, but they found fate when they saw a 'for rent' sign at 1926 E. Capitol Drive — just a couple blocks away from their favorite surfing spot at Atwater Beach.

The young married couple found a nearby apartment on Murray Avenue, and so far, they've been loving the atmosphere here in Shorewood.

"The main reason we chose Shorewood is because of Atwater Beach, and because it's a family-friendly community with low crime," Jake said.

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Rock climbing wall, trampolines might come to Brown Deer business park

July 20, 2016 4:00 p.m. | Brown Deer — A rock climbing and trampoline park could soon be coming to the Brown Deer Business Park.

The business, called Rockin' Jump, would be located in an existing 33,000-square-foot building at 9009 N. Deerbrook Trail. Rockin' Jump is a national franchise with one other Wisconsin location in Madison. The Madison franchise was opened in June 2015 by Jim Thorpe. He is partnering with Four Seasons Skate Shop owner Neal Levin to bring the franchise to Brown Deer.

Rockin' Jump would be the first facility of its kind in the North Shore. Only two other facilities of its kind exist in the Milwaukee area: Helium Trampoline and Climbing Park in New Berlin and Sky Zone Trampoline Park in Waukesha.

Thorpe and Levin were looking to open a trampoline and climbing facility in the north Milwaukee suburbs, and the Brown Deer facility is the only building that met their space requirements. They are in the process of acquiring funding and working out a lease, but they are hopeful that they will be able to work out those details in the next several weeks.

"There are still some things that need to get taken care of, but it looks promising," Thorpe said.

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Whitefish Bay baseball team ends Shorewood magic with regional win

July 20, 2016 11:12 a.m. | The rocket of a first-inning double by Whitefish Bay first baseman Andrew James not only tied the game for the Blue Dukes in their WIAA regional baseball final against visiting Shorewood on July 15, but it also marked a bit of a breakthrough for the offensively struggling team.

James and fellow senior Jake Fisher both had two hits and two RBIs, and pinch-hitter Connor Nethen broke open the game with a bases-loaded triple in the fifth, as Bay won the regional title in their final game at Cahill Park with a 9-3 decision.

"I was happy to get it started because once something like that happens, then everyone gets going," James said.

"We had an error (in the top of the first), and that let them take the lead," said Blue Duke coach Jay Wojcinski. "Then we get a double, tie the score and later take the lead. That was huge."

The Blue Dukes eventually ended their season with a 2-0 loss to NSC champion West Bend West on July 18.

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Nicolet baseball team goes down fighting in regional loss to Kewaskum

July 20, 2016 10:49 a.m. | The season-ending 10-6 WIAA regional semifinal loss for the Nicolet baseball team on July 12 was a microcosm of the season.

Fall behind, work to stay in the game, fall further behind, work even harder to stay in the game.

"We always felt we had a chance to win," said Knight coach Jason Grodsky. "The guys never felt they were really out of it. I just like the way we battled. It really marked our last 10 games. We could have won any of them."

The loss ended the Knights' season at 9-21, while Kewaskum (14-12) went on to fall to defending state champion Menomonee Falls in a regional final July 15.

The Knights fell behind, 1-0, in the first, but then the Indians pushed ahead, 6-0, in the third. A big error on a bunt with runners on first and second really opened the floodgates that inning, Grodsky said.

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Whitefish Bay's Rybakowicz shuts out Brown Deer in regional semi

July 20, 2016 10:36 a.m. | Whitefish Bay senior pitcher Jake Rybakowicz had his curveball working July 12 in the WIAA regional semifinal baseball game with area rival Brown Deer, and that was bad news for the Falcons.

Rybakowicz had a career night with 11 strikeouts, eight of them in the first four innings, and just two walks in blanking Brown Deer, 4-0, and advancing the Blue Dukes to a regional final back at home at Cahill Park at 5:30 p.m. Friday, July 15, against Shorewood.

The Greyhounds were upset winners over Cedarburg.

"I established the curveball early, and then I was able to get a good mix going with that and the fastball," Rybakowicz said. "This was a good way for us to start the tourney off. Do it in a very positive fashion."

Bay (20-11) beat Shorewood (6-21) twice early in the regular season. Blue Duke coach Jay Wojcinski said Bay will have to get the bats rolling if it wants to advance much further in the WIAA tournament.

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Initial Reaction Podcast: Wisconsin Badgers football, WIFCA All-Star game

July 20, 2016 10:29 a.m. | Future football stars in Wisconsin were on the table this week when Ben Worgull of the Badger Nation stopped by to talk about the state of the Badgers gridiron team, which begins in earnest Sept. 3 with a battle at Lambeau Field against LSU. Ben also talked Badgers basketball recruiting and JP and JR discussed the WIFCA All-Star game, featuring a couple future Badgers last weekend. Plus, the baseball state-tourney field is set. 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.

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