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Listening sessions to feature City of Port candidates PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by Kristyn Halbig Ziehm   
Wednesday, 25 January 2017 20:39

A series of listening sessions designed to define the issues voters in Port Washington’s 3rd aldermanic district are most concerned about and hear what the three candidates for alderman have to say about these concerns will be held beginning this Friday.

The first session will be held at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 27, with the remaining sessions set for 3 p.m. on Sundays, Feb. 12 and 19.

The sessions will be in the Lakeview Community Room in the former Wilson House at the corner of Main and Franklin streets in downtown.

The three candidates — incumbent Ald. Bill Driscoll and challengers Don Cosentine and Michael Gasper — will face off in the primary election Tuesday, Feb. 21.

“We’re at a critical juncture in this town and things are happening very quickly,” said Nick Spencer, who is helping coordinate the sessions. 

The sessions are intended to give people a way to let their concerns be known and to give the candidates a forum to address them, Spencer said. The format is intended to be more intimate and interactive than a typical debate, he said.

“We’re trying to move away from people coming and listening to candidates going on and on,” Spencer said. “When we do that, we ignore the citizens.”

Spencer said the candidates are expected to be at each of the sessions. During the sessions, each candidate will be at a separate table and those attending will be split among them.

The candidates and residents will be able to introduce themselves and define what issues are most important to them, he said. The residents will rotate to the various tables during the session so they get a chance to voice their concerns equally.

If time permits, Spencer said, the candidates will be able to address the issues brought up at each session.Daily Press

Saukville cops, retired fireman credited with saving man’s life PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by Mark Jaeger   
Wednesday, 25 January 2017 20:38

Two Saukville police officers and a retired firefighter teamed up to rescue a 63-year-old Saukville man from a smoky apartment fire on Friday, Jan. 20.

According to Police Chief Jeff Goetz, police were called to an apartment building in the 400 block of North Dries Street at about 11:25 a.m. 

When officers arrived, the building’s smoke detectors were sounding and smoke was seen coming from a second-floor apartment.

The building was evacuated, but tenants said they believed one of the renters was apparently still in the building.

Officer Emily Neese kicked in the door of the apartment where the fire started, but found the smoke too heavy to get through.

Neese then pulled the fire alarm to alert anybody left in the building.

As Officer Matt Caswell drove up to the scene, he saw a man standing at the front window trying to breathe in air.

Although the apartment was smoke-filled, Caswell was familiar with the layout and decided to crawl in after he heard the trapped resident calling for help.

“It was so black in the apartment, you couldn’t find your way out. Officer Caswell managed to grab onto the hand of the tenant and drag him out,” Goetz said.

Retired firefighter Rick Gillson Sr., who lives in the neighborhood, was at the scene and assisted in getting the victim, who was badly confused and unable to provide much information, out of the building.

Police administered oxygen to the victim until the Saukville EMS crew arrived at the scene.

After the victim was removed from the building, the other apartments were checked to make sure no one else was inside.

The chief said officers are not expected to put themselves at risk at fire scenes, but Caswell had previously trained as a firefighter.

Police did not have an updated report on the condition of the man rescued from the fire, but Caswell was treated for smoke inhalation and released from Aurora Medical Center in Grafton later that day.

The victim was also transported to the medical center.

“I am so proud of our officers and retired firefighter Rick Gillson. I am certain if they has failed to act as they did, the victim would not be alive today,” Goetz said.

Authorities have not identified the cause of the fire, but believe it may be related to the large amount of electronic equipment and extension cords found in the apartment where the blaze started.

Firefighters from Saukville, Port Washington, Grafton and Cedarburg responded to the fire call.Daily Press

Port teen who tried to wrestle beer from clerk faces felony PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by Bill Schanen IV   
Wednesday, 25 January 2017 20:35

Nineteen-year-old is charged with attempted robbery, use of force

A Port Washington teenager accused of trying to wrestle a case of beer away from a convenience store clerk who wouldn’t sell it to him because he was underage was charged Monday with attempted robbery with use of force.

In addition to the felony, William G. Breen, 19, also faces misdemeanor counts of retail theft and disorderly conduct in connection with the Friday, Jan. 20, incident.

According to the criminal complaint filed in Ozaukee County Circuit Court, an employee of Mad Max South, 1100 S. Spring St., Port Washington, told police that shortly after 9 p.m. Breen came into the store and tried to buy a bottle of liquor.

The clerk said she refused to sell the liquor to Breen because state law prohibits alcohol sales after 9 p.m.

Breen hung around the store for about 30 minutes, she said, then asked if he could buy a case of beer. The clerk said she agreed and took his money, but after looking at his driver’s licence and realizing he was younger than 21, took the beer away from him and placed it behind some displays, the complaint states.

The clerk said she was in the process of refunding Breen’s money when he grabbed the case of beer. She also grabbed the case and a struggle ensued, causing a display case filled with mini liquor bottles to be knocked over. 

Breen then let go of the case, grabbed several mini liquor bottles and ran from the store, according to the complaint.

When questioned by police, Breen admitted to trying to take the case of beer and stealing two mini bottles of Captain Morgan rum, the complaint states.

Breen became angry while being taken to jail and said he wanted to punch and kick the clerk, according to the complaint.

On Monday, Ozaukee County Circuit Judge Sandy Williams set Breen’s bail at $2,000 and ordered him not to have contact with Mad Max stores or the clerk he is accused of scuffling with. He is also to maintain absolute sobriety.Daily Press

Town clerk resigns just after contract renewed PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Kristyn Halbig Ziehm   
Wednesday, 18 January 2017 19:59

Karrels’ decision to step down for personal reasons leaves Port officials searching for new employee

Just a month after they renewed the contract of Port Washington Town Clerk Cheryl Karrels for a year, the Town Board is seeking a new clerk.

Karrels resigned effective Wednesday, Jan. 18, and during a special board meeting Monday officials decided to advertise for a new clerk.

Deputy Town Clerk Doris Schlenvogt is expected to fill in until a new clerk is hired, officials said. If she does not have the time to handle the upcoming elections, Town Chairman Jim Melichar said he would take the necessary steps to take on the task.

Karrels, who was hired by the town on July 15, 2015, turned in her resignation Jan. 6.

She said she recently moved to the Muskego area and, due to a pending divorce, needed to find a full-time job with benefits. 

“I wanted to stay with the town but due to my circumstances, I need health insurance,” Karrels said. “That was never going to happen here.

“I’m sad it’s come to this. I did enjoy working for the town.”

Karrels was paid $35,100 annually.

Melichar said that after receiving Karrels’ resignation, he contacted the applicants who last sought the clerk’s job to see if they were still interested.

Four people said they were interested in the job, he said, including one new candidate.

“We had good applicants,” he said, including some longtime town residents. 

It might benefit the town to forego the application process and select from that pool, Melichar said, especially with a February primary election looming.

“Do we want to drag this out and go through the election process without a clerk?” he asked.

The county won’t help out during the election, Melichar said, so the town needs to find someone.

Former Town Clerk Jenny Schlenvogt said it would be best to seek new applicants, saying that would make the process “fair and balanced.”

“What if you find someone with municipal experience who might be interested?” she asked, noting the town could find a candidate with the qualifications to run an election.

Only asking previous applicants, especially for a part-time job with a relatively large salary “isn’t fair to me as a taxpayer,” Schlenvogt added.

She also questioned whether the previous candidates would be right for the job. “If you have a candidate who’s still available after 18 months, is that someone you really want?” Schlenvogt asked.

Supr. Mike Didier said it’s unlikely the town will find an applicant with election experience, but Schlenvogt said it is possible for a new clerk to run the election.

A six-hour training class is all that’s required, she said, adding the town’s chief election inspector is “very competent.”

Karrels said the work on election day is handled primarily by poll workers, but there is a significant amount of work done by the clerk before and after an election.
Given that the February election is a statewide primary that won’t draw the same turnout as a gubernatorial or presidential election, Schlenvogt said, “it would be a good introduction for a clerk.”

 Didier said he wouldn’t have a problem either advertising for candidates or appointing from the previous applicants.

“No one’s going to complain you held it open to get more people,” he noted, while some will complain if the town doesn’t do that.

“We just don’t want to drag it out.”

Resident John Taucher said the prudent thing is to advertise for applicants.

“I think it might be wise to open it up, see what other applicants you get,” he said. “In the meantime, you have to have someone to run the shop, an interim clerk.”

The deputy clerk is charged with handling the duties when the clerk is absent, board members noted, adding they would check with Doris Schlenvogt to see if she has the time to devote to the job until a new clerk is hired.

The Town Board will accept applications for the job until 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 6. The board will review the applications that night and decide whether to interview candidates or hire someone immediately.Daily Press

Money crunch forces Volunteer Center merger PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Kristyn Halbig Ziehm   
Wednesday, 18 January 2017 19:56

Ozaukee office to remain open but hours will likely be cut after Milwaukee center takes over operations

The Volunteer Center of Ozaukee County, which last fall embarked on a major fundraising effort to keep its doors open, will be merging with the Nonprofit Center of Milwaukee on March 1.

While the agency’s office in Grafton will continue to be open and services will not change, the current staff of three part-time people will be gone, Executive Director Brenda Peterson said. Instead, the Nonprofit Center will handle the programs and staff the office.

“Everything is going to be run through the Nonprofit Center,” she said. “They have staff in place. 

“This was the best alternative to make sure the programs we have continue and are delivered in the most cost-effective way.”

The Nonprofit Center will likely cut the hours the office is staffed, Peterson said, but workers will be available via phone.

In making the change, the Volunteer Center of Ozaukee County is following the path of most volunteer centers in the state, Peterson said, noting that only three independent agencies remain.

This is the second major change the agency has experienced in recent months. In December, the offices were moved to a smaller space in the Family Enrichment Center building in Grafton.

The Volunteer Center, which began in Ozaukee County in 1984, announced last fall it was facing a financial crisis that could force it to close its doors as early as this year

United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha, which provided about a quarter of the Volunteer Center’s funding, decided to end its support for the agency this year. 

The group had been significantly cutting the Volunteer Center’s allocation for the past two years, and last year cut $30,000, Peterson said.

The center was able to raise $10,000 in the first month of its fundraising effort, she said, but those efforts stumbled in subsequent months.

“It had to be sustainable, and it wasn’t,” Peterson said. “We needed more time, and we didn’t have it.”

Part of the problem, she said, is that more and more agencies are fundraising as government support wanes.

“There are more people asking for that same pool of money,” Peterson said.

Many local residents work in Milwaukee and Waukesha counties and donate their funds in those areas instead of in Ozaukee County, she said — a dilemma that is facing other groups as well. 

The Volunteer Center’s board of directors looked at all its alternatives and decided to merge with the Nonprofit Center, she said. The two groups have been working together for many years, Peterson said, especially in the area of training for the staffs and boards of directors for the agencies it works with.

   The Volunteer Center provides services for 74 area agencies. It matches people in the community with volunteer positions, placing about 4,000 volunteers annually, and in the process helps raise awareness of those services and agencies.

The Volunteer Center also provides training for the staff and boards of directors of the agencies that help the groups remain efficient and effective.

Over the past 10 years, Peterson said, the Volunteer Center has raised $1 million and served 40,000 people.

“It really has been a privilege to serve the community for this long,” said Peterson, who has been with the Volunteer Center for the past 10 years.

“We’re grateful it still gets to continue on, just not in the way we thought it would,” she added. “It’s really hard.”Daily Press

Milwaukee felon charged with beating Port bartenders PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by Bill Schanen IV   
Wednesday, 11 January 2017 20:04

Man accused in incident at Schooner Pub served prison time for armed robberies, according to court records

A 30-year-old Milwaukee man who in 2006 was convicted of multiple counts of armed robbery was charged in Ozaukee County Circuit Court last week with beating two bartenders at Schooner Pub in Port Washington last month.

Terrance M. Gatewood McClinton faces two misdemeanor counts of battery in connection with the Saturday, Dec. 10, incident.

According to Port Washington police, Gatewood McClinton was with a group of friends at the downtown bar when, at about 1 a.m., one of the men in the group bet another patron in the upstairs level of the tavern that he could drink more but lost the wager. When it came time to pay up, an argument ensued.

The upstairs bartender separated the two men, temporarily defusing the situation, but then was punched in the face and knocked to the ground by a man who was apparently with Gatewood McClinton, according to the criminal complaint.

Meanwhile, the downstairs bartender noticed the commotion and ran upstairs to break up the fight. Video surveillance from the bar shows Gatewood McClinton punching the downstairs bartender twice, then kicking the upstairs bartender at least four times, the complaint states.

“Sometime during this time, he was knocked unconscious,” Police Chief Kevin Hingiss said, referring to the upstairs bartender. 

   The group left the bar before police officers arrived.

  Earlier in the evening, one of the men in the group ordered a round of shots and paid for it with a $100 bill, Hingiss said. When he tried to pay for a second round with another $100 bill, the bartender questioned whether it was counterfeit and rejected it.

“We don’t know if it was counterfeit because we don’t have the bill. The bartender rejected it,” Hingiss said this week. “Whether these guys came to Port to make some money, we’re not sure.”

Hingiss said police believe they know the identity of the other man involved in the beatings and have requested charges of obstructing justice against a Milwaukee woman who was “less than cooperative” with the investigation.

Gatewood McClinton pleaded not guilty to the battery charges during a Jan. 4 hearing in Ozaukee County Circuit Court. Judge Sandy Williams set his bail at $500. Gatewood McClinton’s attorney, public defender Jamie Marie McClendon, advised Williams that her client is being held in jail for violating the condition of his probation.

According to court records, a Milwaukee County jury convicted Gatewood McClinton of one count of robbery and five counts of armed robbery in January 2006.

He was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 10 years of extended supervision, according to court records.Daily Press

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