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Trick or treat returns to Halloween this fall in Port PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by KRISTYN HALBIG ZIEHM   
Wednesday, 26 August 2015 22:05

    Trick or treat will be held on Halloween night in the City of Port Washington.

    The Common Council last week agreed to the date and set the official hours for trick or treating from 4 to 7 p.m.

    It’s a topic that has been the subject of much discussion in recent years as many Ozaukee County communities have moved away from the once-uniform date of the Sunday before Halloween.

    Ald. Kevin Rudser, who has championed the idea of holding trick or treat on Halloween night regardless of what day of the week it falls on, was not at the Aug. 18 council meting.

    But other aldermen said this year’s choice of a date was easy, given that Oct. 31 falls on a Saturday.

    “In honor of Ald. Rudser, I would like to recommend Oct. 31, actually holding Halloween on Halloween,” Ald. Doug Biggs said.

 
They don’t call him Iron Mike for nothing PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by KRISTYN HALBIG ZIEHM   
Wednesday, 26 August 2015 21:56

Port man who nearly lost hand in Aug. 13 farm accident expected to make full recovery

    Mike Melichar has earned his long-time nickname, Iron Mike.

    The 36-year-old Port Washington man’s left hand was all but severed and his forearm crushed in a farm accident two weeks ago, but doctors were able to reconstruct and reattach his hand and he’s expected to make a full recovery.

    Melichar has undergone six operations in the last two weeks, but if all goes well, he could be home from Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee by the weekend.

    “It’s pretty awesome,” Melichar said Tuesday, “It’s the doctors. These guys are unbelievable. They deserve all the credit.”

    Melichar was injured at about 8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 13. The accident happened while he was chopping hay in a Saukville field for his uncle, Town of Port farmer Jim Melichar, and the machine clogged.

    His uncle said Melichar stopped the chopper, opened a trap door on the machine and cleared as much of the hay as possible, then restarted the machine to blow the remaining debris out. He stopped the blower again, then went to make sure there wasn’t any more debris and to close the door.

    Melichar said an alarm rings until the parts of the machine stop moving. He didn’t hear the alarm, so he put his arm into the machine.

    “All the sudden it grabbed my arm,” he said. “It munched my hand.”

     His uncle said the chopper has 40 razor-sharp blades on a cylinder, and his nephew was struck by seven of them. It’s by far the most serious accident they’ve ever had at the farm, he added.

    But fortunately, Melichar wasn’t alone. His girlfriend Selma Suskica was with him and Bob Nash and Brent Wendt were driving the trucks he was filling with hay.

    Nash quickly called 911, Melichar said, while Wendt took off his belt and used it as a tourniquet.

    Saukville police officers arrived on the scene within minutes, he said, adding Officer Brandin Depies had a tourniquet with him and used it to secure his arm.

    Once the Saukville and Port Washington ambulances arrived, a paramedic administered pain medication while they waited for the Flight for Life helicopter to arrive.

    “At the time, there was actually no pain,” Melichar said. “I don’t know if it was the shock or what. I never passed out. I remember the helicopter ride. It seemed like it took seconds.”

    His uncle said the Flight for Life arrived within 15 minutes, and the trip to Froedtert took less than 10 minutes.

    When Melichar arrived at Froedtert, he said, doctors were pessimistic about the chances to save his mangled hand.

    “When I got there, they told me they were going to amputate it,” he said.

    The surgery took until 1 a.m., and when he came to, Melichar said, he was relieved to find he still had his hand.

    “When I woke up and I was able to wiggle all my fingers, it was a huge deal,” said Melichar, maintenance manager for the Ozaukee County golf courses. “I’m a mechanic. I use my hands quite a bit.”

    He was lucky, he said, that while the accident crushed his hand and forearm, it left intact a major artery and the nerves to his hand.

    Since then, he’s undergone five additional operations, most to clean the wound, Melichar said, adding doctors have been able to remove any infections that developed.

    Doctors have also put two plates in his forearm to stabilize his bones, which shattered during the accident, he said.

    They also placed artificial tissue in his arm to help build up the flesh, something they need to do before covering the wound with skin grafts, Melichar said.

    “They can’t just do the skin grafts because there’s not much under it,” he said. “It looks like I got bit by a shark.”

    On Friday, doctors will check to see if the artificial tissue is taking, Melichar said. If it is, they will send him home and do skin grafts in a few weeks. If not, they will likely do surgery immediately to graft tissue from his thigh in the arm.

    Doctors expect he will regain full use of and feeling in his hand, Melichar said, although he did lose the tips of his ring and middle fingers.

    It will take hard work and time, he added, noting he’s been told it will take at least a year of healing and a lengthy course of physical therapy to fully recover.

    “I’m pretty antsy,” he said, predicting it won’t be too long before he’s back at work.

    Melichar’s positive attitude is likely one reason he’s recovered so well, his uncle said.

    “They (the hospital staff members) can’t believe how positive he is,” he said. “He just wants to get up and do things.”

    Melichar said that’s the only way to deal with the injury.

    “The doctors and nurses, they all joke. We have a pretty good time,” he said. “Selma’s been here every day and that helps a lot.

    “You have to stay positive. It doesn’t hurt as bad as it could, and I’ve got a hand that works.”



 
Blues Factory proposal rolls on despite objections from residents PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by KRISTYN HALBIG ZIEHM   
Friday, 21 August 2015 16:10

Port Plan Commission endorses plan for harborfront land as protests over sale of land, factory-inspired design continue

    A crowd of about 35 people, many of them opponents of the proposed sale of a city-owned lakefront parking lot for a Paramount blues-themed complex, reiterated their objections to the concept Thursday when it was presented to the Port Washington Plan Commission.

    “I just feel it’s out of place. It’s out of character with the harbor,” said Mary Lou Wagner, 910 Hales Trail. “Here you have this great, grand view of the whole harbor area. You’re going to plunk this big ugly building right in the middle and spoil the view.”

    The Plan Commission unanimously endorsed the Blues Factory proposal, which now goes before the Common Council on Tuesday, Sept. 1.

    The council, which meets at 7:30 p.m., will decide whether to begin negotiating a developer’s agreement for the sale of the parking lot with Christopher Long, president and CEO of the Blues Factory Inc.

    That agreement would cover a wide variety of topics, including a sale price for the land and potentially the $1 million in tax incremental financing development incentives sought by Long.

    The Blues Factory proposal calls for a 15,000-square-foot building to be constructed on the parking lot at the end of the north slip marina along Washington Street.

    The two-story building would include a cultural and education space dedicated to the history of the Wisconsin Chair Co., which once stood on the lot, and its subsidiary Paramount Records, a performance hall that could seat 185 people, a restaurant and a banquet facility that could accommodate 350 people.blues

    Parking was the big issue of the night, with residents and some commission members questioning where the many people expected to attend banquets and performances would park.

    Commission member Bud Sova questioned whether Blues Factory patrons would compete with marina tenants for nearby parking spaces. The marina parking lots, he said, are for tenants and their guests.

    “I’m concerned about parking clashes. That marina’s been here for a long time. We don’t want to hurt that,” he said. “If they (marina tenants) get there and don’t have a place to park, they’re going to be very unhappy.

    “We need to find a way to make that work.”

    Director of Public Works Rob Vanden Noven said use of the parking lot could be shared, noting the highest traffic for the Blues Factory would likely be later in the day, when traffic at the marina is less.

    The problem isn’t the number of spaces in downtown, City Planner Randy Tetzlaff said.

    “It’s a management problem that needs to be addressed,” he said.

    A recent parking study showed that the city has an abundance of parking, Tetzlaff said, even if it isn’t directly adjacent to the building.

    Tetzlaff noted that city officials asked Long if he was concerned about parking when he initially proposed the Blues Factory, and he is not.

    Ald. Dan Becker, a member of the commission, said when the parking study was unveiled he was “shocked” by the results. But, he added, the biggest parking complaint he’s heard is not that there aren’t enough spaces but that parking isn’t available directly in front of places people want to visit.

    He would rather see visitors park a few blocks away because they would then see what else the city has to offer, Becker said.

    “I don’t see that issue (parking) at all,” he said.



 
Man gets nine years in prison for possession of child porn PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by BILL SCHANEN IV   
Wednesday, 19 August 2015 20:25

Grafton resident sentenced after lawyer, prosecutor, judge agree he should be behind bars

    A 29-year-old Grafton man who was caught with a collection of child pornography deserves to go to prison, his lawyer, the prosecutor and a judge agreed.

    The point of contention was for how long, and it was settled Monday by Ozaukee County Circuit Judge Sandy Williams, who sentenced Brian M. Miswald to nine years in prison followed by six years of extended supervision.

    “There probably isn’t anyone in this courtroom whose stomach isn’t turning because of the crimes you committed,” Williams told Miswald. “This court cannot ignore the impact of these crimes. Every time someone watches child pornography, another child is abused.”

    Williams and Assistant District Attorney Patti Wabitsch noted that watching child pornography is not a victimless crime. Nothing, they said, makes that more clear than the statement of a woman whose father raped her when she was a child, videotaped the assault and distributed it on the Internet. The video was one of those found on Miswald’s computers.

    “I live every day with the horrible knowledge that many people somewhere are watching the most terrifying moments of my life and taking grotesque pleasure in them,” the woman wrote.

    “I am a victim of the worst kind of exploitation — child porn. Unlike other forms of exploitation, this one is never ending. Everyday, people are trading and sharing videos of me as a little girl being raped in the most sadistic ways. They don’t know me, but they have seen every part of me. They are being entertained by my shame and pain.”

    Miswald’s lawyer, Mark Langholz, did not downplay the seriousness of his client’s crimes and noted that the criminal justice system plays an important role in stemming child pornography by dealing sternly with offenders.

    “The public needs to understand, and I think they do, that if anyone views those images, regardless of whether you created them or shared them, you will be a sex offender and you will go to prison for years,” he said.

    But, Langholz argued, Miswald can be rehabilitated and become a productive member of society. He recommended a five-year prison sentence followed by a lengthy period of extended supervision, which would allow Miswald to receive the treatment he needs.

    “I don’t believe Mr. Miswald is a lost cause,” said Langholz, who noted that his client did not have a criminal record prior to the child porn case.

    Charles Lodl, a psychologist who spoke during the sentencing hearing at the request of Langholz, said Miswald suffers from “very serious mental illness” that needs to be treated prior to dealing with his sexual deviancy.

    He said Miswald should be incarcerated at the Wisconsin Resource Center, a prison and mental health facility, so he can receive treatment.

    Williams agreed, but said that determination must be made by the Wisconsin Department of Corrections.

    Miswald was arrested in November 2014 after a special agent with the Department of Justice traced a computer being used to distribute child pornography to Miswald’s home.

    Authorities seized two hard drives that contained child pornography from his bedroom and Miswald admitted to downloading the material, according to the criminal complaint.

    Miswald was charged with 11 counts of possession of child pornography, a felony punishable by a maximum 15 years in prison and 10 years of extended supervision. He pleaded no contest to three of those charges in April.

    He has been held in jail in lieu of $50,000 bail since his arrest.Daily Press

    In addition to sentencing Miswald to prison, Williams fined him $5,500 and ordered him to pay $5,000 in restitution.

    As conditions of Miswald’s extended supervision, Williams ordered him to maintain absolute sobriety, continue recommended treatment and not to use an Internet-capable device or have contact with people younger than 18 without the approval of his supervising agent.

    By virtue of his crimes, Miswald must register as a sex offender.



 
Man gets nine years in prison for possession of child porn PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by BILL SCHANEN IV   
Wednesday, 19 August 2015 20:25

Grafton resident sentenced after lawyer, prosecutor, judge agree he should be behind bars

    A 29-year-old Grafton man who was caught with a collection of child pornography deserves to go to prison, his lawyer, the prosecutor and a judge agreed.

    The point of contention was for how long, and it was settled Monday by Ozaukee County Circuit Judge Sandy Williams, who sentenced Brian M. Miswald to nine years in prison followed by six years of extended supervision.

    “There probably isn’t anyone in this courtroom whose stomach isn’t turning because of the crimes you committed,” Williams told Miswald. “This court cannot ignore the impact of these crimes. Every time someone watches child pornography, another child is abused.”

    Williams and Assistant District Attorney Patti Wabitsch noted that watching child pornography is not a victimless crime. Nothing, they said, makes that more clear than the statement of a woman whose father raped her when she was a child, videotaped the assault and distributed it on the Internet. The video was one of those found on Miswald’s computers.

    “I live every day with the horrible knowledge that many people somewhere are watching the most terrifying moments of my life and taking grotesque pleasure in them,” the woman wrote.

    “I am a victim of the worst kind of exploitation — child porn. Unlike other forms of exploitation, this one is never ending. Everyday, people are trading and sharing videos of me as a little girl being raped in the most sadistic ways. They don’t know me, but they have seen every part of me. They are being entertained by my shame and pain.”

    Miswald’s lawyer, Mark Langholz, did not downplay the seriousness of his client’s crimes and noted that the criminal justice system plays an important role in stemming child pornography by dealing sternly with offenders.

    “The public needs to understand, and I think they do, that if anyone views those images, regardless of whether you created them or shared them, you will be a sex offender and you will go to prison for years,” he said.

    But, Langholz argued, Miswald can be rehabilitated and become a productive member of society. He recommended a five-year prison sentence followed by a lengthy period of extended supervision, which would allow Miswald to receive the treatment he needs.

    “I don’t believe Mr. Miswald is a lost cause,” said Langholz, who noted that his client did not have a criminal record prior to the child porn case.

    Charles Lodl, a psychologist who spoke during the sentencing hearing at the request of Langholz, said Miswald suffers from “very serious mental illness” that needs to be treated prior to dealing with his sexual deviancy.

    He said Miswald should be incarcerated at the Wisconsin Resource Center, a prison and mental health facility, so he can receive treatment.

    Williams agreed, but said that determination must be made by the Wisconsin Department of Corrections.

    Miswald was arrested in November 2014 after a special agent with the Department of Justice traced a computer being used to distribute child pornography to Miswald’s home.

    Authorities seized two hard drives that contained child pornography from his bedroom and Miswald admitted to downloading the material, according to the criminal complaint.

    Miswald was charged with 11 counts of possession of child pornography, a felony punishable by a maximum 15 years in prison and 10 years of extended supervision. He pleaded no contest to three of those charges in April.

    He has been held in jail in lieu of $50,000 bail since his arrest.Daily Press

    In addition to sentencing Miswald to prison, Williams fined him $5,500 and ordered him to pay $5,000 in restitution.

    As conditions of Miswald’s extended supervision, Williams ordered him to maintain absolute sobriety, continue recommended treatment and not to use an Internet-capable device or have contact with people younger than 18 without the approval of his supervising agent.

    By virtue of his crimes, Miswald must register as a sex offender.



 
Golf course burglary under investigation PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by BILL SCHANEN IV   
Wednesday, 19 August 2015 20:24

    The Ozaukee County Sheriff’s Department continues to search for the burglars who broke into the county-owned Hawthorne Hills Golf Course clubhouse in the Town of Saukville last week and stole a cash machine.

    Authorities believe that either late Wednesday, Aug. 12, or early the next day, a truck drove around a barricade at the entrance to the golf course at 4720 Hwy. I and over part of the course to the clubhouse, where burglars broke in through a door, Lt. Rodney Galbraith said.

    He said he did not know how much money was in the ATM.

    “We don’t have any suspects yet,” Galbraith said. “We do have some info from Milwaukee police, but we don’t know if that’s related yet.”

    Galbraith said it’s likely the burglars were familiar with the clubhouse.

    “When you and I drive past a golf course, we don’t think, ‘There is probably a cash machine in there to steal,’” he said. “So it’s very possible whoever committed this burglary had been in the clubhouse before.

    “And because the clubhouse is fairly remote and it was dark out, it was probably a fairly easy target.”Daily Press

    Galbraith said he hopes someone saw the truck the night of the burglary or noticed something suspicious at the clubhouse before the break-in.

    Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff’s department at 284-7172 and ask for the detective bureau or send a text message with the key word OZSO to tip411.

 
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