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Brown Deer to host community input session on vacant Lowe's building

Feb. 25, 2013 2:48 p.m. | Brown Deer wants input on how to occupy the Lowe's building which has stood vacant since Oct. 2011.

Lowe's constructed the building in 2006 after the village invested $2.4 million through a tax incremental financing district.

Village officials will field questions and seek input on the Lowe's building on Wednesday, Feb. 27 from 7-8:30 p.m. at the Lois & Tom Dolan Community Center, 4355 W. Bradley Road.

For more information, contact Village Planning and Zoning Specialist Nate Piotrowski at (414) 371-3061.

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.

West Bend West's Burns beats Whitefish Bay baseball team on mound, at plate in sectional

July 20, 2016 10:13 a.m. | Nobody had to tell the Whitefish Bay baseball team just how good Nathan Burns is, as the Blue Dukes have been facing the state Player of the Year candidate for three seasons now.

Burns upped his candidacy by throwing a three-hitter on the mound and driving in the only runs of the game with a two-out, two-run single in the sixth, as top-seeded West Bend West pulled out a 2-0 win over fourth-seeded Whitefish Bay in a WIAA sectional semifinal July 18 at Germantown High School.

"We knew coming in it was going to be a close game," Whitefish Bay coach Jay Wojcinski said. "Burns pretty much beat us by himself."

Dueling aces

It was evident Burns was on from the start, as the Oregon State commit struck out six of the first 10 batters he faced. Whitefish Bay senior right-hander Liam Kahn was equally sharp, as the two traded zeros for five innings.

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Maslowski oversaw creation of nine tax incremental financing districts

July 19, 2016 7:38 p.m. | Retiring Glendale City Administrator Richard Maslowski oversaw the creation of Glendale's first tax incremental financing district in 1981.

It was used to help redevelop the site of a former elementary school into the Manchester East Hotel & Suites, now the Radisson Hotel Milwaukee North Shore, 7065 N. Port Washington Road. It was the first of nine such tax financing districts Maslowski helped create during his 36 years on the job.

Additional tax districts were developed during the early and mid-'80s near the hotel site: one to replace a former city public works facility with Northeast Corporate Centre, a small office park at 7020-7080 N. Port Washington Road, and another to build Coventry Apartments, 255 W. Coventry Court, and the neighboring four-story office building that now houses BVK advertising agency, as well as North Shore Library.

In 1992, Glendale used a tax financing district for environmental cleanup costs — a then-unusual tactic that is now common. That was needed to help convert a closed Holiday Inn, built on the site of a former dump, into what is now a La Quinta Inn & Suites, 5423 N. Port Washington Road.

Maslowski said that district also became perhaps the first in Wisconsin where the developer, Marcus Corp., instead of the city, paid the costs upfront. Marcus then received property tax rebates to compensate the company for the environmental cleanup costs.

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Maslowski transformed Glendale in impactful career as city administrator

July 19, 2016 7:36 p.m. | Glendale — When Richard Maslowski started working as Glendale's city administrator in 1980, the community's most visible properties included Bayshore Mall and Jos. Schlitz Brewing Co.'s massive grain elevator.

More than three decades later, the mall has been redeveloped as the mixed-use Bayshore Town Center, while a business park has replaced the grain elevator. They're among the many commercial developments Maslowski helped create through the city's use of tax incremental financing districts.

Without Maslowski, much of that construction might not have happened, said Jay Hintze, who served as mayor of Glendale from 2000 to 2005.

"He has the ability to look at a project and formulate a path" for development to occur, Hintze said.

Also, Maslowski's ability to help guide complicated projects and his reputation for treating developers with fairness and respect helped attract investment to Glendale, Hintze said.

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Development is off the table in Wilson Drive discussions

July 19, 2016 4:25 p.m. | Shorewood — After hearing overwhelming opposition from residents, a committee of the Shorewood Village Board is recommending the Wilson Drive Task Force no longer consider residential or commercial development on the west side of Wilson Drive.

The idea of narrowing and possibly developing Wilson Drive was floated by local architects Mark and Linda Keane in 2005 as a way of improving connectivity between Shorewood's western neighborhoods and Estabrook Park. The idea was reintroduced in 2014 during the update of the central district master plan.

Residents objected to the idea of development on Wilson Drive, so Shorewood Village Board members agreed to remove the concept from the master plan. Trustees formed a Wilson Drive Task Force, which has been meeting since December.

The task force is headed by a 13-person steering committee, which seeks input from four work groups dedicated to traffic and safety, environmental impacts, development and parks and recreation.

The task force solicited feedback from residents during a June 15 open house event, which was attended by more than 200 people. More than 130 written responses were collected, only eight of which favored development on the west side of Wilson Drive. Many of the responses emphasized the need for green space, recreational amenities and improved park access.

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Debbie Roesner appointed to Fox Point-Bayside School Board

July 19, 2016 3:02 p.m. | Fox Point — The Fox Point-Bayside School Board on July 18 appointed Fox Point resident Debbie Roesner to fill an open school board seat previously occupied by David Smulyan.

Smulyan, who was in the final year of his three-year term, announced in May that he would resign on June 30. Five people applied for the position, but the board members unanimously agreed Roesner's experience in the Fox Point-Bayside Education Foundation, Fox Point-Bayside PTO and her career as a banker will be an asset to the board.

Roesner will serve out the remainder of Smulyan's term, which ends in April. Roesner served on the education foundation from 2006-2010, and two of those years she served as president.

Roesner served as a long-term substitute teacher in the library of Stormonth School, and she also served as a substitute teacher in special needs programs at Stormonth and Bayside Middle School. After serving in the schools for several years, Roesner returned to her profession as a commercial lender. She is a vice president in the commercial banking division at BMO Harris.

"I'm passionate about the quality of the schools, which is why many parents choose to move to the district," she said. "I feel like that's something we need to continue to provide to our residents."

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Bublr makes push for extra bike rental stations in Shorewood

July 18, 2016 6:00 p.m. | Shorewood — Shorewood has federal funding for nine Bublr bicycle rental stations, but the village may get another two stations through some unusual maneuvering.

In the last four years, Bublr has set up 40 stations in Milwaukee with a total of 350 rental bikes. By 2017, the organization hopes to have more than 700 bikes at nearly 100 stations in Milwaukee, Shorewood, West Allis and Wauwatosa.

Shorewood has received $400,000 in federal grants for the project, which would allow nine Bublr stations on Oakland Avenue and Capitol Drive. Shorewood would contribute 20 percent, or $100,000, to the overall project cost.

The proposed Oakland Avenue bike stations would be near Kensington Boulevard, Lake Bluff Boulevard, Jarvis Street, Capitol Drive, Newton Avenue and Edgewood Avenue. The Capitol Drive bike stations would be near Wilson Drive, Maryland Avenue and Downer Avenue.

In addition to those nine grant-funded stations, Bublr would also like to see a bike rental station near Atwater Park and another bike station at Wilson Drive and Congress Street, providing easy access to Estabrook Park and the Oak Leaf Trail. Kevin Hardman, the executive director of Bublr, said parks are prime locations for bicycle rentals, but they do not qualify for grant funding.

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#BestSummerEverNOW: Share your 2016 summer photos of you in the Milwaukee suburbs

July 18, 2016 3:55 p.m. | Are you having the best summer ever?

It's a great time to be outdoors with many events going around in the Milwaukee area

Whatever you might be doing, it's likely you've snapped some photos or selfies. 

Whether you're enjoying a picnic in the park, a local festival, some splashing around at your community pool, or attending your local farmers market, there's plenty going on in the Milwaukee suburbs this summer.

We have started a photo gallery of our staff photographers' best summer photos from local events. But we want your photos to be added to this gallery.

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Live coverage: 2016 WIAA Summer Baseball Sectional Round

July 18, 2016 2:30 p.m. | It's sectional day for WIAA summer baseball teams.

By the end of the day the summer baseball field will be trimmed from 16 teams to four.

Who will be left standing and playing for a state title on Friday at Kapco Park in Mequon?

Follow our live blog as sports reporters from Lake Country Publications and NOW Newspapers are out at sectional games today in South Milwaukee, Germantown and Brookfield Central.  

Sports reporters JR Radcliffe, Steven L. Tietz, Andrew Gruman, John Rech and Chuck Delsman will be tweeting from various games today.

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