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Fox Point trustees OK grant to Footbridge Friends

Aug. 21, 2012 9:13 a.m. | The Fox Point Village Board voted Monday night to grant local nonprofit Footbridge Friends $30,000 so the group can attempt to raise $625,000 for the controversial replacement of the Ravine Lane Bridge.

That money will go to In Progress Consulting, which will lead the fundraising effort, and its subcontractor Clear Verve Marketing.

Though the total cost of all the contracting work, as laid out by In Progress, could total more than $45,000, the Village Board opted to give enough for the first four months of fundraising - $30,000 - and potentially approve the rest at a later date.

Trustees Eric Fonstad and F.R. Dengel were adamant that any funds given to Footbridge Friends be reimbursed to the village, and a amendment to the resolution was made that Footbridge Friends be obligated to make that repayment.

The resolution passed, 4-1, with Trustee William Warner dissenting, saying that he would rather bring the footbridge issue to referendum.

Brown Deer car crash kills driver, injures passenger

8:38 p.m. | Brown Deer — A car accident in Brown Deer has killed one person and left another injured.

A vehicle carrying four people was traveling northbound at a high rate of speed in the 8300 block of Teutonia Avenue when it left the roadway and struck a cinderblock structure at 8300 N. Teutonia Ave. at 1:38 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 1, according to Brown Deer police. The driver of the vehicle was killed, and one of the passengers was transported to a hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.

In addition to the Brown Deer Police Department, the North Shore Fire Department, Wisconsin State Patrol and Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office responded to the scene to assist with the investigation. The investigation is ongoing, but police believe the vehicle's speed may have been a contributing factor in the crash.

The deceased driver is not being identified until the family has been notified.

Friends remember Whitefish Bay football coach Jim Tietjen, who died after battle with brain cancer

6:47 p.m. | He was as former Nicolet coach Dave Quam called him: "The face of Whitefish Bay football." A Blue Duke through and through.

Bay football coach Jim Tietjen barked and roared through life, demanding perfection from his players, asking for fairness from the officials and always seeking new and ingenuous ways to beat his most demanding competition.

Tietjen passed away the morning of Nov. 30 after a short but courageous fight against brain cancer.

Tietjen, 61, had been coach at Bay for 14 years. He was diagnosed with the illness in late July and to maintain continuity in the program, Blue Dukes offensive coordinator Jake Wolter was named as interim coach. Tietjen's son Joe was on the staff and kept everyone apprised of details as best he could.

Coincidentally, it was the same day of the Blue Dukes' team banquet. Not many in attendance knew he had passed until after the event was over.

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Initial Reaction Podcast: Would it be OK to see state-football games played other than in Madison?

12:13 p.m. | The guys take a last look back at state-championship football and agree that the title games could stand to move elsewhere, out of Camp Randall in Madison. Plus, a look at where the bright spots might be in the overall Wisconsin sports malaise and JP gets a little bit of time to talk Iowa football.

Positive and uplifting stories in suburban Milwaukee and Lake Country in November

11:00 a.m. | Sometimes you're just looking for a little positivity.

And we hope to deliver that to you with a roundup of positive and uplifting stories from suburban Milwaukee and the Lake Country area. The following stories were published in the past month, and they feature stories that could warm your heart as the holiday season hits its stride.

Menomonee Falls students honored for helping elderly neighbor who was pinned under her vehicle


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Homestead teacher agrees to resign

Nov. 30, 2015 12:28 p.m. | Mequon — Homestead teacher Krista Lesiecki has agreed to resign, bringing resolution to a controversial and highly-publicized termination hearing triggered by a dispute with one of her students.

The Mequon-Thiensville School Board was scheduled to consider the termination of Lesiecki during a termination hearing on Monday, Nov. 30, but three days before the hearing on Friday, Nov. 27, Lesiecki and Mequon-Thiensville School District Superintendent Demond Means issued a joint statement saying the personnel matter had been resolved.

The statement says Lesiecki, who was placed on administrative leave on Oct. 18, will remain on paid administrative leave until the end of this school year. When school recesses in June, Lesiecki will leave the district.

"We both agree that this is a good resolution because it puts the focus back on students and the school community," Means and Lesiecki said in the statement. "Our joint support for this approach will help limit the adverse impact for everyone, especially the student involved and the student's family. It also helps the district and its dedicated staff to re-focus on maximizing the academic and social-emotional growth of all students."

The district's disciplinary action against Lesiecki was controversial among Homestead students, parents and alumni. A Facebook page called "Support Mrs. Lesiecki" was formed on Nov. 2, and more than 2,000 people have joined the group.

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Updated rankings of area prep boys and girls basketball teams and players

Homestead teacher is stepping down under deal

Nov. 27, 2015 3:21 p.m. | A longtime Homestead High School math teacher who faced a Monday disciplinary hearing over an alleged interaction with a student and her parents is stepping down under a settlement reached with the Mequon-Thiensville School District on Friday.

Krista Lesiecki will remain on paid leave through the end of the 2015-'16 school year, after which "her employment with the district will conclude," Lesiecki and the district said in a joint statement issued Friday afternoon.

The settlement avoids what was likely to become a costly court battle "with significant legal expenses and no real winners," they said.

It was reached "in an effort to limit the distraction for the school community and allow teachers, students and staff to rededicate their full energy and focus back to teaching and learning," according to the statement. And it "will help limit the adverse impact for everyone, especially the student involved and the student's family."

Krista Lesiecki telegraphed the settlement earlier in the day on a Facebook page set up by supporters, saying "the situation has been resolved to my satisfaction."

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River Lane Inn in Brown Deer sold to Pastiche owner

Nov. 25, 2015 3:20 p.m. | The owner of the French bistro Pastiche has bought the longtime seafood restaurant the River Lane Inn in Brown Deer and intends to open a second Pastiche there early next year.

River Lane Inn’s last day will be Dec. 23, and the restaurant will reopen as Pastiche in 2016, possibly as soon as early February. In the interim, the restaurant will be redecorated to resemble a French countryside inn. Some elements will remain, though, such as the little booths in the bar, the tin ceiling and the coat check.

Michael Engel said he bought the Brown Deer restaurant at 4313 W. River Lane from his friend and mentor Jim Marks after discussing it casually for a few years, “mostly on the golf course.”

Marks and his wife, Claire, opened the restaurant 35 years ago, remodeling and expanding it over the years. They also owned the fine-dining Riversite in Mequon for 20 years.

“Angela and I will work just as hard to meet the level of excellence they’ve established,” Engel said, referring to his wife and business partner.

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Whitefish Bay Holiday Stroll coming on Friday

Nov. 25, 2015 2:02 p.m. | Whitefish Bay — Whitefish Bay will kick off the holiday season with the annual Holiday Stroll Friday, November 27.

The evening festivities feature a tree lighting ceremony, food, music, and entertainment, including the annual holiday parade that begins at 6 p.m. Mara Riteris, owner of Placesetters, will lead the parade as grand marshall in honor of her 38 years of business on Silver Spring Drive.

Twirling ballerinas from Milwaukee Ballet School will be performing live scenes of 'The Nutracker' in store windows.

New this year, actors from First Stage Touring Company will carol at Associated Bank and gather to sing as the live outdoor holiday tree is lit near Sendik's following the parade. Families can also take free pony rides, free train rides and can meet the Door County Sled Dogs. Families can visit with Santa at BMO Harris Bank after the parade.

And with a wide array of distinctive shopping in a relaxed atmosphere in Whitefish Bay, everyone can conveniently cross things off their holiday list. Revisit refined shopping with your friends and family during a stroll along Silver Spring Drive this holiday season.

Bomb squad examines grenade found in Brown Deer house

Nov. 25, 2015 1:21 p.m. | Brown Deer — The Milwaukee County Bomb Squad was called to Brown Deer this morning to examine a spent grenade.

Brown Deer police received a call at 8:50 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 25 reporting a grenade was found inside a house in the 6500 block of Darnell Avenue. The caller also stated the grenade had been moved outside.

Brown Deer police responded to the house, and secured the area as a safety precaution. Brown Deer police called the Milwaukee County Bomb Squad, which determined the grenade had been previously fired and was no longer a threat.

Inspired by Popp, Homestead seizes fifth state football title

Nov. 25, 2015 12:29 p.m. | It was going to be "Hell or high water" but Homestead all-state football star Jack Popp was going to play in the WIAA Division 2 state title football game on Nov. 20 against Waukesha West, fractured arm or no fractured arm.

He had suffered the injury in the Level 3 victory over Brookfield East two weeks ago and missed the state semifinal victory over Chippewa Falls on Nov. 13.

But he simply had to close the door on his storied career, one that included a touchdown reception as a skinny freshman in Homestead's 14-0 state title win over Waunakee in 2012, the way he had opened it.

By leading Homestead to a fifth WIAA state title.

He got his clearance to play on Nov. 16 and then all his wishes came true on that overcast Nov. 20 afternoon.

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Sport Shorts: Nov. 26, 2015

Nov. 25, 2015 11:41 a.m. |


New Blue Duke coach Jon Schneider is hoping to end the recent coaching merry-go-round that has beset the still-successful girls hoops program.

But the optimistic sort will be climbing a steep hill this season as he not only has to deal with the normal assorted graduation losses off a 15-9 team, including that of All-Suburban forward Ashley Reed, but he also has to contend with the loss of returning guard Grace Wirthto a knee injury and of three-year starting guard Kaitlyn Jackson, who wants to focus on track.

Still, Schneider is looking forward as the Blue Dukes opened their season with a 60-44 nonconference win over South Milwaukee on Nov. 20.

"That will hurt our depth especially because I'm all about defense, intensity and speed," he said, "but right now we have about three or four girls who are definite leaders, and that can still carry us a long ways."

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Shorewood robbery suspects face charges

Nov. 25, 2015 11:22 a.m. | Shorewood — Criminal charges have been filed in connection with two recent robberies in Shorewood.

The first robbery, on Nov. 5, occurred when 18-year-old Milwaukee resident Zacharius Dejuan Young accosted a woman in the lobby of her apartment building at 1716 E. Newton Ave.

The woman arrived at her building at 10:40 a.m. and stopped to check her mailbox when Young allegedly came into the lobby, put his right arm over her right shoulder and grabbed her keys from her left hand, saying "I need these keys."

The woman tried to elbow him, but he was able to grab her key fob and run out of the building, according to a criminal complaint.

Young then entered a SUV that police say was involved in another robbery/car theft earlier that day.

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River Lane Inn will become Pastiche

Nov. 25, 2015 11:16 a.m. | Brown Deer — River Lane Inn, a long-standing restaurant in Brown Deer, will close next month to make room for Pastiche, a French bistro that opened five years ago in Bay View.

River Lane Inn owner Jim Marks has decided to sell his historic building at 4313 W. River Lane Inn after 35 years in business. The building has housed a hardware store, a tavern and restaurants in its 120-year history. The building has seen three additions since it was first built in the 1890s.

"We were one of the very few seafood restaurants in town when we first opened 35 years ago," Marks said. "We've continued that, and people in the North Shore have been very appreciative and continue to come again and again. I've had lots of wonderful memories here."

Now that he is ready for retirement, Marks decided to sell to Engel, who he has known for years. They started talking about the restaurant deal several years ago over a serendipitous pairing at Brown Deer Park Golf Course, and the deal was finalized this week. Marks said he is leaving the business in good hands, and the restaurant's staff will be able to keep their jobs.

"We've turned it over to somebody who's one of the finest restaurant owners in the area," he said. Engel opened Pastiche in Bay View in 2010, and he and his wife Angela are excited to bring Pastiche to the North Shore. Engel grew up in Glendale, attended Nicolet High School and was trained as a cook at Milwaukee Country Club in River Hills.

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Woodland champion Shorewood girls basketball team looks for third title

Nov. 25, 2015 10:43 a.m. | There are new championship banners in the Shorewood gym, and the two-time Woodland Conference East Division champion Greyhound girls basketball team is looking to add more numerals to the list behind a veteran team led by two-time All-Suburban forward Jada Stackhouse.

"The girls see the banners 1972, 2014 and 2015," said Greyhound coach Jeff Eimers, "and they'd love to get another one.

"We have eight seniors, and we'll carry 10, maybe 11 players this winter. We do have some nice underclassmen, but I don't want to lose them on the bench (so they'll play junior varsity)."

The Greyhounds routed Milwaukee Ronald Reagan, 67-10, on Nov. 17 but then fell to West Allis Central, 52-41 on Nov. 23 in a pair of nonconference games. They will host their own Thanksgiving Holiday Tournament on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 27 and 28.

They will host Milwaukee Morse-Marshall at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 27. The early semifinal will be Cedarburg and Milwaukee Messmer. The consolation game will be at 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 28, and the title game at 5 p.m.

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