July 27, 2008

NEWS SUMMARIES Waukesha County


2 police officers pull man from burning home

Two Brookfield police officers were credited with saving the live of an 84-year-old man trapped inside his burning house.

Following screams for help at 1:15 a.m. Tuesday in the 17300 block of Bedford Drive, Officer Richard Tank found Kenneth Petry with his face pushed up against a window screen gasping for air as black smoke poured out of the window.

Tank was the first on the scene after Elaine Petry, 81, escaped the house and called 911.

Tank, an officer for a little more than a year, couldn't pull Kenneth out the window, which was more than five feet off the ground of the single-story home.

Tank, after assuring Kenneth that he would return, ran to check on Elaine. She was unharmed and in the backyard.

Tank attempted to enter the house through the kitchen, but the smoke turned him away.

He returned to the window where Kenneth was holding his head outside, and Officer Susanne Behling, a 5 1/2 -year veteran, arrived. Together, they pulled Kenneth from the burning home.

Fire and rescue crews arrived just as the officers were pulling Kenneth out of the house.

The husband and wife were taken to Elmbrook Memorial Hospital, where they were treated for smoke inhalation.

Both officers received a letter of commendation, Police Capt. Phil Horter said.


Market owner, worker face felony charges

The owner of V. Richards Market and his produce manager knowingly purchased stolen produce to sell in the upscale Brookfield grocery store, according to felony charges filed against them Tuesday in Waukesha County Circuit Court.

Charges of receiving stolen property were filed against John E. Nehring, 55, of Wauwatosa -- who also owns a Sendik's store in Shorewood and G. Groppi Food Market in Milwaukee's Bay View neighborhood -- and his V. Richards produce manager, Angel Vasquez, 28, of Milwaukee.

The criminal complaint says the two paid $1,500 cash to a delivery driver for stolen cases of pineapple, peaches and boxes of Gala apples last summer. The stolen produce included 70 cases of pineapples, 102 cases of peaches and 42 boxes of Gala apples, which in total were valued at $2,883, the complaint says.

The fruit was stolen from the Milwaukee-based Tropic Banana Co., the complaint says. Both Nehring and Vasquez are set to make their initial appearance in Waukesha County Circuit Court on Aug. 6.

The maximum penalty for the Class I felony is 3 1/2 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.


City sets deadline for fire department

The Common Council has given the Muskego Volunteer Fire Company until Aug. 26 to voluntarily negotiate its absorption into the Tess Corners Fire Department.

The council voted to defer two resolutions that would have disbanded the Muskego company and made Tess Corners the sole provider of fire services to the city. But aldermen, motivated by discussion that took place between the two departments Monday night, decided Tuesday to give them time to work it out on their own.

One city contracting with two volunteer fire departments is unusual in the Milwaukee area. Currently, the Muskego company responds to calls on the city's west side; Tess Corners to calls on the east side. Both are private corporations funded by taxpayers.

The Common Council had decided in November to move forward with one fire company led by Tess Corners, which the city says has a better financial record.


City, Milwaukee work on deal for water

Milwaukee and New Berlin have fashioned a draft agreement that allows Milwaukee Water Works to sell the Waukesha County community additional Lake Michigan water for a one-time fee of $1.5 million, along with the as-yet-unknown cost of treating and transporting water.

With the state's passage of the Great Lakes Water Compact, the way was likely cleared for New Berlin to acquire additional Lake Michigan water to serve residential and commercial interests in the central part of the community.

New Berlin must return used water to Lake Michigan through sewerage district pipes so that there is no loss of water volume to Lake Michigan.

New Berlin is under state order to reduce groundwater radium concentrations, which could cause cancer. The preferred solution is to shut down the troubled municipal wells and increase supplies of Lake Michigan drinking water from Milwaukee Water Works to basically the central area of the community.


Man arrested on suspicion of assault

A registered sex offender who neglected to update his home address with the city was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of indecently touching an 8-year-old girl in an apartment complex swimming pool, police said.

According to Waukesha police, David Stevens, 21, is suspected of having contact with the child while both of them were in the swimming pool at an apartment complex in the 2100 block of Kensington Drive on Tuesday evening. Police said the girl told her parents about the assault, and that police tracked down Stevens in a nearby building.

Stevens was convicted of first-degree sexual assault of a child in 2004, when he was 15 years old, and he is required to register as a sex offender until 2021. Waukesha police Capt. Mark Stigler said in a news release that the city couldn't check up on Stevens because he hadn't updated his address with the city in 2007.


Economy, weather hurt fair attendance

Attendance at the Waukesha County Fair fell more than 25% this year amid hot, humid weather and a struggling economy, fair officials said Wednesday.

The official attendance for the fair, which ran from July 16 to 20, was 101,358, the smallest crowd at Wisconsin's oldest county fair since fair officials started keeping track of attendance in 1990. Last year, the five-day event welcomed 136,628 fairgoers. Average attendance is about 132,000, said Shari Black, the fair's executive director.

Black partly attributed the decline in attendance to the economy's overall struggles, which she said may have kept some families from coming out to the fair.

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