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United Way marks 65th campaign with $285,000 goal PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Wednesday, 30 September 2015 20:04

Northern Ozaukee chapter celebrates anniversary year by reaffirming its service mission

United Way of Northern Ozaukee kicked off its new campaign Wednesday, Sept. 30, with a look backward.

The agency is celebrating its 65th anniversary, and in that time it has raised more than $5 million that has been reinvested in the community, Executive Director Barbara Bates-Nelson said.

“That’s quite impressive,” she said, noting the local United Way is one of the smallest in Wisconsin and the country.

“We have a lot to be proud of,” Bates-Nelson said. “We’ve been good stewards of the money people have entrusted us with.”

United Way of Northern Ozaukee, which has a goal of raising $285,000 this year, was started in 1950 by a group of local philanthropists and business leaders who formed what was then called the Community Chest.

“They had a vision of helping others. I think they would be proud of the job we’ve done,” Bates-Nelson said. “We’ve grown and changed and are still relevant to the community.”

Ron Schowalter, one of the original members of the Community Chest, was expected to be among those at Wednesday’s celebration.

In 1962, the Community Chest became the United Way of Port Washington, and in 1982 it became the United Way of Port Washington and Saukville.

The group changed its name again in 1997, when it became the United Way of Northern Ozaukee. The money raised through the years has gone to a wide variety of causes that have helped Ozaukee County make the lists of the healthiest counties in Wisconsin and the best places to live in the U.S., Bates-Nelson said.

“But even the healthiest and most desirable places to live face tough social issues,” she said.

For example, last year the Ozaukee County Human Services Department received more than 500 reports of child abuse, she said.

This year’s campaign, which is headed by Annie Stadler with honorary campaign co-chairmen Richard and Jill Bunting, will head the fundraising campaign.

This year’s goal is the same as last year, Bates-Nelson said, noting the campaign fell a little short of its goal last year.

Money raised goes to support 15 community agencies — some, such as the American Red Cross and Boy Scouts, that have been funded by United Way since 1950 — and to finance special initiatives through community impact grants, she said.

Last year, United Way of Northern Ozaukee distributed $249,730. Of that, $184,700 were through direct support of nonprofit agencies. 

“The nonprofits in our county are stretched so thin,” Bates-Nelson said.

The community impact grants go to fund programs that address four priorities, Bates-Nelson said. They are homelessness prevention, substance abuse, mental health and access to health care.

“We’re trying to be very focused on where the needs are,” she said.

Homeless prevention is an important issue, albeit a largely invisible one in Ozaukee County, Bates-Nelson said. 

“We’ve helped a number of people stay in their homes and on their feet,” she said, noting the United Way helps provide rent assistance to people in danger of losing their homes.

Transportation, particularly to medical services and employment, is another priority, she said, adding United Way supports efforts to extend the shared-ride taxi service hours.

Community impact grants presented in August went to Advocates, which is spearheading the homeless prevention efforts; Cope Services for a theatrical production depicting youth experiencing mental health issues; Interfaith Caregivers for dementia volunteer training; Ozaukee Family Services for a support group for parents of middle-school girls; Ozaukee Jail Literacy for a computer curriculum; Starting Point for a sober living house and the Volunteer Center of Ozaukee County for a task force program.

Sobering drug battle: PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by MICHAEL LoCICERO   
Wednesday, 30 September 2015 20:01

Latest overdose deaths in Cedar Grove underscore urgency of local Heroin Task Force’s mission in fighting epidemic

Three Cedar Grove residents died of suspected drug overdoses in as many weeks, equaling the total number of confirmed overdose fatalities investigated by the Sheboygan County Sheriff’s Department in all of 2013, authorities said this week.

One of those deaths occurred last Saturday morning.

The other deaths occurred Sept. 4 when two men overdosed, leaving one dead, and a Sept. 19 death of a woman, according to the department.

The sobering reality that heroin and other drug abuse is not going away can no longer be described as stunning.

The recent spate of fatal overdoses in Cedar Grove illustrate the epidemic Ozaukee County is fighting with its Heroin Task Force, a sweeping approach based on the belief that it will take everyone from parents and teachers to police officers and prosecutors to combat the deadly drug problem.

Parents in particular need to play a key role in combating the drug problem, even if it means turning their children over to police, Ozaukee County District Attorney Adam Gerol said during a Solutions and Hope Heroin Task Force presentation in Cedarburg last week.

“I understand the strength it takes to turn your child or friend in to law enforcement,” Gerol said at the Columbia St. Mary’s building at the Ozaukee County Fairgrounds. “It leaves marks on a family that can have lifelong consequences. 

“As a DA, I will do anything I can to make a parent understand they did the right thing by turning their child in. Whether it’s pre-trial diversions, drug programs, I will do it.”

Gerol and other state and local dignitaries, including State Sen. Alberta Darling, Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and Rep. Jim Ott, spoke about ending the impact of heroin in local communities at the presentation.

Also speaking were Carol Schneider, founder and CEO of Seek Staffing in Grafton; Kerry Young, Treatment Alternatives and Diversion (TAD) coordinator for Starting Point; and Doug Darby, co-founder of Rise Together.

Darby, himself a former drug addict, wants to foster a community that allows youths to be “heard, loved and inspired for hope.”

He hopes the story of his father committing suicide when he was 15 years old, his slip into the dark world of addiction and eventual recovery will inspire youths to share their own stories.

“I made a series of mistakes in my life which still affect me to this day,” Darby said. “I never grew up thinking I would be a junkie, but that’s exactly what I was for a decade of my life.” 

The Ozaukee County Sheriff’s Department officials said last week they too are investigating one heroin-related death.

It is difficult to understand just how bad the problem is, Ozaukee County Sheriff’s Lt. Rodney Galbraith said.

Drug dealers should be afraid of selling heroin and other drugs in Ozaukee County, Galbraith said.

“They need to know that if they bring crime to our county, they’re not going to be out of jail the next day to do it again,” he said.

Galbraith said that recent legislation allowing Narcan — a drug that reverses the effects of an overdose — to be administered by first responders has helped lower the number of drug-related fatalities.

He also said the county’s heroin task force has put the county “ahead of the game.”Daily Press

“Over the last four or five years, I think we’ve done a lot to bring this problem to the front of the community,” he said.

Despite the positives, Galbraith believes it’s difficult to judge how much of an impact the county is having on heroin use.

“I think it would be premature to say we’re having an impact,” he said. “The reality is that education and awareness has had an impact on stopping fatalities, but that’s just part of the problem.”

Former sheriff’s detective dies from injuries in car accident PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by MARK JAEGER   
Wednesday, 23 September 2015 21:05

Retired county employee, wife in vehicle during weekend collision in Town of Beaver Dam

Former Ozaukee County Sheriff’s Department detective Keith Knop, a 65-year-old Port Washington resident, died Monday from injuries sustained in a two-car accident in Dodge County.

Knop’s wife, Rise Andersen, was a passenger in his car and also suffered serious injuries.

According to the Dodge County Sheriff’s Department, the accident occurred at 1:53 p.m. Sunday on Highway A, one half mile north of Highway B in the Town of Beaver Dam.

According to the department’s preliminary accident report, the crash occurred when a southbound 2004 Cadillac DeVille being driven by an 81-year-old Houston woman crossed the center line and collided head-on with the northbound 1996 Volvo station wagon being driven by Knop.

After emergency crews arrived at the scene, Knop was flown by Flight for Life to Aurora Hospital in Summit.

His wife was transported to Beaver Dam Community Hospital and then flown by a Med Flight helicopter to University of Wisconsin Hospital in Madison.

The other driver was transported to Beaver Dam Community Hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.

According to Dodge County authorities, the crash remains under investigation. A final report is not expected for several weeks.

Ozaukee County Sheriff Jim Johnson said Knop had a significant impact on law enforcement during his tenure with the local department.

“Keith cared greatly for the law-enforcement profession and the community,” Johnson said.

“He was one of my mentors when I was a new detective and we worked side-by-side on numerous investigations. He was extremely organized and meticulous in his record keeping and case file management.”

Knop began his career with the sheriff’s department in 1975 as a jailer. He was made a patrol officer in 1977 and promoted to detective in 1982.Daily Press

Knop was the head negotiator on the department’s special response team. He was the first lead detective when the county’s Multijurisdictional Anti-Drug Task Force was formed.

Knop retired from law enforcement on March 16, 2006, but Johnson said he never turned his back on the career he loved.

“He had a desire to preserve the sheriff office’s past, so upon retirement he volunteered to gather historic photos and articles and became our historian,” Johnson said.

Funeral services have not yet been scheduled.

Port commission likes concept plan for 33-lot subdivision PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Wednesday, 23 September 2015 21:04

    Plans for a 33-lot subdivision north of Harris Drive on Port Washington’s south side were given concept approval last week by the city’s Plan Commission.

    The subdivision, proposed by Ansay Development Corp., is intended to feature smaller, energy-efficient homes similar to those developer Mike Speas has been building along Division Street, said Peter Hurth, a project engineer for Baudhuin Inc. of Sturgeon Bay, who presented the plan.

    “That seems to be the niche that is selling,” he said, adding the target market is empty nesters and Millennials.

    “It’s a nice subdivision, and it’s a great concept,” said Randy Tetzlaff, the city’s director of planning and development. “It’s another choice in housing we’re offering people.”

    The target audience, he added, is “spot-on.”

    The houses would be on 21-1/2 acres, clustered along a northern extension of Harris Drive. At its north end, the road would loop west into a U that would rejoin with Harris Drive.

    The typical lot would be 60 by 120 feet, Hurth said.

    The homes would be similar to ones Ansay Development is building in Belgium, Hurth said.

    A trail will connect the subdivision with the Interurban Trail, and there will be dedicated open space between the houses and the bike trail.

     Commission members expressed some concern about the fact there would only be one route in and out of the subdivision, something the city has worked to avoid in projects.

    Tetzlaff presented an alternate concept that would allow for future road connections that would include a second entrance, something Hurth agreed to consider.

    The land, which is currently in the Town of Port Washington, is bordered on the west by the Ozaukee Interurban Trail, on the north by the Didier storage units, on the south by the Hillside Estates apartments and Woodridge subdivision and on the east by wetlands off Highway LL.
Daily Press
    Hurth said Ansay would like to begin working on the development as soon as possible. “I would anticipate you wouldn’t see a home going up until June,” he said.

    Because the land is in the Town of Port Washington, Tetzlaff said, there are a number of steps to be taken before the concept becomes reality.

    The city and Ansay need to negotiate a pre-annexation agreement, then the city will need to annex the property, he said. After that, a preliminary plat will be submitted before final approval is granted for the subdivision.

New safety measure available for Port beach PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Wednesday, 16 September 2015 19:44

Online INFOS data gives lakefront visitors real-time information on rip currents

    Port Washington officials on Tuesday announced a new beach safety measure is in place — a real-time rip-current identification system that will let people know what conditions are in the water before they head to the lakefront.

    Although the system has been running for about a month already, Mayor Tom Mlada said officials have been tweaking it since then to make it more user friendly.

    “I think the attraction is that not only does it make our waterfront even safer with a technology that’s really unique, you can get this on your laptop or smart phone,” Mlada said.

    “This gives you an idea in real-time what you have in terms of beach conditions. It clearly is a tremendous asset.”

    The integrated nowcast/forecast operation system — aka INFOS — includes information on such things as wave height, water temperature both at and below the surface and wind speed.

    It offers a map of Port’s lakefront that models real-time currents and tells users whether the risk for rip currents is low, moderate or high.

    Implementation of the INFOS system has been a goal of the Port Washington Waterfront Safety Committee, which was formed after 15-year-old Tyler Buczek died off Port Washington in 2012 after being caught in a rip current.    

    Mlada said the system was the brainchild of University of Wisconsin-Madison professor Chin Wu, who at the time was studying bluff stability but realized a way to use the technology to identify rip currents.

    “Our goal was to create a usable technology, a functional public website, that would provide modeling results and combine those models with real-time, high integrity data,” Wu said.

    To do that, he’s used a wave sensor buoy and webcam, Wu said.

    Mlada said officials are continuing to tweak INFOS, based in part on input from users.

    They are currently working on creating an INFOS app, he said, and on creating a system that would send users messages when the risk of rip currents is high.  

    They are also creating a “frequently asked questions” area on the website to help guide users, Mlada said.

    “Visit the site, play around with it,” he said, noting it can be easily accessed at

    The INFOS system is the first of its kind, and officials hope to expand it to other areas in the future.

    Contributing to the development of the INFOS system were the UW Sea Grant Institute, Wisconsin Coastal Management Program and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Coastal Storms Program, Mlada said.

Image information: THE INFOS Port Washington website predicted relatively strong southerly currents (depicted in yellow) at 6 a.m. Wednesday off the city’s south beach. The tabs on the right give users the ability to see hourly current predictions. The site also includes a rip current risk indicator and access to real-time and predicted wave height and water temperature data, as well as views from a lakefront camera. The system was developed by a University of Wisconsin-Madison professor working with the city as part of its waterfront safety initiative.                      

Police search for man who tried to entice girl PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by Ozaukee Press   
Wednesday, 09 September 2015 20:59

Port Washington police are searching for a man who attempted to entice a child while she was walking home from school on Wednesday, Sept. 2.

    According to police, the 12-year-old girl said she was walking on Moore Road near the skate park between 3 and 3:30 p.m. when a man in a tan, four-door vehicle offered to give her a ride home.

    The girl said that when she refused, he drove off.

    But he returned, she said, and again offered her a ride home and asked for her address, police said.

    She said she then ran home, police said, and the man left.Daily Press

    Police are looking for the man, who is described as a white man in his early 30s with brown hair, mustache, and goatee.

    Anyone with information is asked to call police at 284-2611.

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