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Port decorated and ready to kick off the Christmas season Saturday PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Wednesday, 29 November 2017 19:13

    The twinkle lights are on the trees lining Franklin Street in downtown Port Washington, and shop windows are decked out in their holiday finery.
    That’s appropriate, since Port will formally kick off the holiday season Saturday, Dec. 2, with the inaugural Frosty Lighthouse 5 walk and run and the annual Christmas on the Corner celebration, which includes merchant sales, caroling, a tree lighting ceremony, parade and fireworks.
    The day kicks off with the Frosty Lighthouse 5, a run-walk to raise money for the restoration of the Port lighthouse.
    “Our hope is people come down to the race, have lunch downtown and maybe start their Christmas shopping before Christmas on the Corner starts,” Mayor Tom Mlada said.
    The event gives participants a choice of a 5k or five-mile courses that include portions of the Ozaukee Interurban Trail and allow runners and walkers to enjoy views of the lakefront.
    The event will begin and end at Inventors Brewpub, 435 Lake St. Check in begins at 9 a.m. and the races at 10 a.m. Awards will be presented to the winners of both the 5k and five-mile courses.
    Registration for the 5k route are $25 per person or $75 for a family of four in advance or $30 and $100, respectively, on race day.
    The five-mile registrations are $35 per person or $100 for a family of four in advance or $40 and $130, respectively, on race day.
    Advance registrations will be accepted through 8:30 a.m. Friday, Dec. 1.
    Recreation Director Kiley Schulte said Tuesday that about 70 people had already signed up for the run-walk.
    To register or for more information, visit and click on the register now button or stop in at the department office, 201 N. Webster St.
    A silent auction at Inventors Brewpub will be run in conjunction with the walk-run. Among the prizes are a tree to be planted in the recipient’s yard, James Meyer lighthouse photographs, Inventors glassware, Port pool passes and tickets to the Polar Express.
    “A Carol of Christmas” is the theme of this year’s Christmas on the Corner celebration, which runs from 3 to 7 p.m.
    It kicks off with special sales at downtown shops, where merchants will offer refreshments to warm customers on what is usually a chilly evening.
    Youngsters are invited to participate in the Elf on the Shelf scavenger hunt. Participants will scour designated downtown shops to find the Elf on the Shelf hidden within, then turn in sheets denoting their finds for a drawing.
    Visitors may catch a horse-drawn carriage at the corner of West Grand Avenue and South Wisconsin Street and enjoy a ride through the heart of the city. Rides are $5 per person.
    Children can write their holiday letters and mail them to Santa at the Post Office on East Main Street during the festival, decorate cookies at Dockside Deli, make ornaments at the Port Exploreum and stop at Port Washington State Bank to visit and have their pictures taken with Santa.
    Youngsters can also have their photos taken with Anna and Elsa, the “Frozen” princesses, at Biever Travel.
    Live reindeer will be on Main Street near Franklin Street, where visitors may have their pictures taken with the animals.
    Children’s crafts can be made at the Niederkorn Library, 316 W. Grand Ave., which will also have a book sale and a charitable donation area.
    And the Eghart House, 302 W. Grand Ave., will be decorated for a Victorian Christmas and open for tours.
    A live Nativity outside Hidden Treasures consignment shop on West Grand Avenue will remind people of the reason for the season with a decorated sleigh on the east end of Main Street along the north slip marina, creating a scenic backdrop for families who want to take a festival photograph.    
    The tree lighting and caroling are scheduled for 6 p.m.
    The festival theme will be highlighted during the Christmas parade at 6:15 p.m. The parade will kick off at the corner of Jackson and Franklin streets, head south on Franklin Street to Grand Avenue and proceed west on Grand Avenue to Milwaukee Street, where it will end.
    The parade will feature local celebrities, floats, bands, clowns and more to entertain the crowd. The highlight will be the official arrival of Santa Claus on a sleigh atop the Main Street float.
    Following the parade, the crowd will move toward Rotary Park to view holiday fireworks, the only winter fireworks show in Ozaukee County.
    For more information, call 268-1132 or visit Press

Package thieves strike in Port Washington PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Wednesday, 29 November 2017 19:12

Police have received several reports of boxes being taken from doorsteps

    With Black Friday and Cyber Monday recently passed, Port Washington police are warning residents of the dangers of having packages delivered to their doorsteps.
    Police have received eight reports of packages being stolen from the doorsteps of homes throughout the city since July — six of them since September — Police Chief Kevin Hingiss said.
    Those reports have come in from all corners of the city, he said — the west and north sides and downtown.
    “Nobody’s immune,” Hingiss said. “With Christmas coming up, obviously there’s going to be a lot more opportunities for thieves.”
    This spurt in package thefts is new in Port, he added.
    “Every once in a while we’ve had one, but this is a big jump for us, and we’re just getting into the season.”
    Hingiss offered some advice to residents ordering online or from a catalog.
    “If your workplace allows it, have it delivered to your office,” he said, or have the package delivered to a nearby store.
    “It’s not as convenient, but at least you’ll get your package,” Hingiss said.
    Residents should ask for a tracking number so they know when packages are being delivered, he said.
    “If you have a trusted neighbor, request a signature and have them sign for it,” he said. Or have the neighbor pick up the package from the doorstep.
    Residents can also request that packages not be left at the front door but somewhere less visible, perhaps at a side door that can’t be seen as well from the street, Hingiss said.
    And if neighbors see anything suspicious, Hingiss asked that they report it to police immediately. If possible, they should provide a description of the vehicle involved and a license plate number.
    “Don’t wait,” he said. “That makes it much easier for us to investigate. If it was an arranged delivery and everything’s on the up-and-up, we’ll figure it out.”
    Hingiss also warned that people need to remember to lock their vehicles and not keep valuables in them.
    On Nov. 19, police received three reports of incidents related to unlocked vehicles, he said.
    A 31-year-old woman reported that someone took an iPhone from her unlocked vehicle while it was parked on Milwaukee Street, he said. A 37-year old woman reported someone took the garage door opener from her unlocked vehicle on Pierre Lane and used it to get into the garage, where they stole $200 in frozen meat from a refrigerator.
    A 52-year-old man reported his work truck was taken from his home on Dodge Street, Hingiss said. The man had left the keys in the Ford pickup, which was unlocked.
    The vehicle and all the tools in it were recovered the next day in Milwaukee, Hingiss said.
    “We think all three incidents are connected,” he said, noting police used the iPhone to find one suspect.
    An 18-year-old man from Milwaukee has been arrested and a request for charges has been forwarded to the district attorney’s office, Hingiss said, adding officers still want to talk to several other suspects.
    “We need to stress the importance of keeping your things locked up,” he said. “I know people don’t like to do that, but it’s reality nowadays. You want to protect your home and loved ones.”Daily Press

Man shot by fellow deer hunter released from hospital PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by BILL SCHANEN IV   
Wednesday, 29 November 2017 19:09

Victim was participating in Fredonia deer drive when he was hit by rifle bullet

    A 53-year-old man has been released from the hospital after being accidentally shot by a member of his deer hunting party in the Town of Fredonia last week, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Lt. Juan Gomez said.
    Anthony Montella of Random Lake, one of five hunters participating in a deer drive on private land off Oriole Lane north of Jay Road, was seriously wounded by a rifle bullet that struck him in the left thigh just before 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 22, Gomez said.
    During a deer drive, some hunters flush deer out of the woods and brush while others stand by to shoot the animals.
    Montella was shot after a deer was flushed and multiple hunters fired at the animal, which was struck and killed. Gomez said while final range calculations are pending, he estimates the bullet that hit Montella was fired from between 100 and 150 yards away.
    Gomez said the bullet was either a .308 caliber or .30-06, both high-velocity rounds typically used for deer hunting.
    “There were a number of shots fired,” he said. “I’m 99% sure who fired the shot, but  there’s a few details to confirm yet.”
    After Montella was shot, his fellow hunters applied a tourniquet to his leg and called for help.
    A Waubeka Fire Department ambulance crew and Port Washington Fire Department paramedics arrived to treat Montella, who was flown by a Flight for Life helicopter to Froedtert Hospital in Wauwatosa.
    Gomez, who did not release the names of the other hunters in Montella’s group, said there is no question the shooting was an accident. But the results of the DNR investigation will be submitted to the Ozaukee County District Attorney’s office “just to see what their take on it is,” he added.
    Montella was one of seven hunters who were accidentally shot in Wisconsin, and the only one in Ozaukee County, during the nine-day gun deer hunting season that ended Sunday, Nov. 26. Five of those hunters shot themselves, according to the DNR. Daily Press

Mayor’s seat, aldermanic posts on April ballot PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Wednesday, 29 November 2017 19:08

    Candidates for Port Washington mayor and three aldermanic seats, as well as positions on the Port Washington-Saukville School Board, can begin circulating nomination papers on Friday, Dec. 1.
    Considering the contentious nature of politics and the amount of dissent voiced by city residents as aldermen grapple with development issues, particularly around the lakefront, it could be a lively election.
    After all, two incumbent aldermen were voted out of office in April in what was widely seen as an informal referendum on development issues.
    Up for election this spring are Mayor Tom Mlada and aldermen Paul Neumyer, Dan Benning and Dave Larson, who represent the city’s 2nd, 4th and 6th Districts, respectively.
    Benning was recently appointed to the council, replacing former Ald. Doug Biggs, who resigned. When he was appointed, he said he anticipated running for the seat in the election.
    Mlada said Tuesday he is not sure whether he will seek a third term in office.
    “Kathy (his wife) and I had a really good conversation about that over Thanksgiving,” he said. “I have not made a decision yet.”
    The mayor is elected to a three-year term and receives an annual salary of $7,500. Aldermen are elected to two-year terms and are paid $3,750 annually.
    Nomination papers must be filed with the City Clerk by 5 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 2.
    Also up for election this spring are the school board seats currently held by Brenda Fritsch and Michelle Shinners, who represent the City of Port, and Carey Gremminger, who represents the Village of Saukville.
    School Board members serve three-year terms.
    In addition, the seats held by all 26 members of the Ozaukee County Board are up for election.
    County supervisors serve two-year terms.
    If more than two candidates file for any one seat, a primary election will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 20.
    The general election will be held on Tuesday, April 3. Daily Press

County transit system merger talks skid to a halt PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by JOE POIRIER   
Tuesday, 21 November 2017 19:27

Proposal to combine Ozaukee, Washington services fails to garner support of officials from either county

    Negotiations over a joint Ozaukee-Washington county public transit system skidded to a halt last week when officials from both counties voted not to pursue the merger.
    If the merger had been approved, it would have created one of the largest public transit systems in the state, but the committees determined bigger isn’t necessarily better.
    “Is this worth pursuing? We already have a good transit service,” Washington County Supr. Daniel Goetz asked during the meeting of the Ozaukee and Washington counties public works committees on Thursday, Nov. 16, at the Newburg Municipal Building.
    Both public works committees voted   not to pursue the merger 2-2. For Ozaukee County, supervisors Kathryn Geracie and Donald Korinek voted for the merger and supervisors LeRoy Haeuser and Barb Jones voted against.
     The Ozaukee and Washington shared-rides taxi service provides about 230,000 rides annually to people cross between the two counties. Officials estimated that number would have increased by 10,000 if the services were merged because riders would no longer have to transfer in Newburg.        Proponents said the merger would save money and improve public transit in both counties, which provide express bus service to and from Milwaukee and a shared-ride taxi service.
    The current contract operator for both counties’ share-ride taxi services, National Q, indicated that it might be able to reduce the dispatch costs if the services were merged, which would’ve saved about $50,000 per year.
    Officials said federal funding would only increase slightly if the merger occurred.
    Proponents also argued that a joint shared-ride taxi service would have been easier for riders, who predominantly are elderly and disabled people, to use because it would eliminate transfers.
    “They would likely experience quicker trips and wouldn’t have to wait for the transfer in Newburg, which could be out of the way from the origin or destination of their trip,” Kevin Muhs, deputy director of Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission, said.
    Muhs also said an Ozaukee-Washington transit service would better serve businesses in both counties struggling with a labor shortage.
    “It could assist with the labor shortage both counties are currently experiencing,” he said.
    But opponents of the merger said they were concerned about creating an unwieldy system managed by a transit commission that would have three to four representatives from each county.
    “You’ll be creating another bureaucracy and adding another layer of supervision,” Ozaukee County Supr. LeRoy Haeuser said, noting he was wary of what the commission would do if there would be a tie vote.
    Managing the assets of each county was also an issue. Each county owns its own shared-ride taxis, and Ozaukee County owns a dispatch and storage facility, which it would have had to transfer to the joint commission.
    “Why can’t we leave it the way it is,” Haeuser said.
    Other topics discussed included service hours, staffing, vehicle storage and dispatch, maintenance, brand marketing and reconciling fare structure. Ozaukee has a zone-based fare system while Washington’s is distance based.
    “In addition to the idiosyncrasies of each fare structure, Washington County taxi fares for adults are currently higher, on average, than Ozaukee’s,” Muhs said.
    Washington County fares range from $4.25 to $9, while Ozaukee County’s range from $3 to $6.75.
    Wisconsin has five multi-county transit systems.
    Discussions of a public transit system merger started after the Ozaukee and Washington counties merged their public health departments in 2015.Daily Press

Frosty run to benefit city’s effort to restore lighthouse PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Tuesday, 21 November 2017 19:26

Dec. 2 races will be held on same day as Port’s downtown Christmas events

    Efforts to raise money to restore Port Washington’s landmark lighthouse will take a dash forward when the inaugural Frosty Lighthouse Five run and walk is held in December, Mayor Tom Mlada announced recently.
    The event, which will feature five-mile and five-kilometer routes, will be held on Saturday, Dec. 2, the same day as Port Main Street Inc.’s Christmas on the Corner celebration.
    “Hopefully, we’ll have a great crowd,” Mlada said. “People can come down to the race, have lunch downtown and hopefully start their shopping before Christmas on the Corner starts.”
    The race will begin at Veterans Memorial Park, said Mlada, with registration set for 9 a.m. and the race scheduled for 10 a.m.
    The routes will take participants on the Ozaukee Interurban Trail to the north side of the city, and through portions of the north bluff area.
    Information and registration are available at
    Port Washington officials have been waiting for word from the federal government that the city has been granted ownership of the Art Deco-style lighthouse, which has graced the harbor since 1935.
    The Coast Guard announced three years ago that it was seeking a new owner for the lighthouse, and the city almost immediately agreed to seek ownership of the structure.
    The city’s bid to obtain the lighthouse has been tentatively approved by the federal government.
    If the city is granted ownership of the structure, the city will need to take over maintenance of the lighthouse. The most pressing needs, officials said, are replacing the porthole windows and repainting the structure.
    The windows are expected to cost $25,000, while painting is estimated to cost as much as $1 million. That’s due, in part, to the fact the structure is encased in lead-based paint.
    The city is also seeking to have the lighthouse placed on the National Register of Historic Places.Daily Press

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