Join Pigskin Picks to test your skills against local celebrities, veteran sportswriters

Aug. 28, 2012 1:13 p.m. | How well do you know high school football?

You can find out by visiting to join MyCommunityNOW's Pigskin Picks football contest. You will have the chance to win prizes as you test your pigskin prognostication skills against celebrity experts and NOW's staff of award-winning sportswriters.

Reigning Miss St. Francis Colleen Mrotek (pictured) and Time Warner Cable Sports 32's JP Cadorin join the fray this season as celebrity experts picking games each week. They will be joined by Lake Country Sports Director JR Radcliffe and NOW sports reporters John Rech, Tom "Sky" Skibosh and Steven L. Tietz. 

Weekly winners will receive movie passes to Marcus Theatres. The top three finishers at the end of the season are eligible to receive a gift certificate to Bartolotta restaurants worth $100, $50 or $25.

The contest begins this week and lasts until the end of the regular season.

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Vacuum thieves strike Southridge twice in 24 hours

Aug. 28, 2012 1:00 p.m. | Police are seeking two men who shoplifted two high-end vacuum cleaners at Macy's at Southridge within a 24-hour period between Aug. 20 and Aug. 21.

According to the Greendale police log:

Store security personnel at Macy's, 5400 S. 76th St., reported that an unidentified man grabbed a $600 Dyson vacuum cleaner and ran out of the store about 1:15 p.m. Aug. 20. The man was described as a 6-foot-tall black man, age 25 to 30 years old and wearing a light blue or gray T-shirt, cargo pants and flip-flops.

At 1:13 p.m. the next day, Macy's security called police after two black men grabbed another $600 Dyson vacuum and ran out of the store. One of the men was identified by store security as the same person from the Aug. 20 vacuum theft.

The men drove off in a black Nissan Xterra SUV. While leaving the parking lot, the passenger-side door was still open, which caused a mirror or window to break, leaving glass in the lot.

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Chat with the chair slated for tonight

Aug. 27, 2012 4:16 p.m. | Milwaukee County Chairwoman Marina Dimitrijevic will host a Chat with the Chair session from 6 to 7 p.m. today in the Oak Creek City Council Chambers.

Residents are invited to meet the chairwoman and ask questions regarding county government.

This is the fifth chat Dimitrijevic has hosted.

Her next chat is slated for this Wednesday at the Wauwatosa Public Library. The seventh will be held on Thursday at the North Shore Library in Glendale.

Whitnall looking to make own history

Aug. 24, 2012 11:56 p.m. | The past decade of football contests between Whitnall and New Berlin Eisenhower have primarily gone in one direction. Friday night in New Berlin, the game between the two Woodland Conference rivals took more wild turns than Christopher Columbus did before discovering America.

A history lesson would tell you that Eisenhower had defeated the Falcons seven of the last eight times dating back to 2002. This time, history was not meant to repeat itself as the Falcons completed a thrilling 36-28 comeback win over the Lions in the season opener for both schools.

Whitnall took advantage of three Eisenhower lost fumbles that proved to be the difference in a game between contrasting offensive mindsets. The Falcons and senior quarterback Zach Sutton spent the entire night peppering the air with an efficient passing attack, while the Lions opted for a running attack led by junior Nick Taylor.

Both offenses looked unstoppable at times and inept at others, but it was the passing game of Whitnall that dominated the fourth quarter. The Falcons finally took the lead with less than six minutes left in the game on a 30-yard field goal by senior Nick Stemo and sealed the win a few minutes later on a 33-yard touchdown pass from Sutton to fellow senior Patrick Wyrowski with 20 seconds left in the game.

“It was just the energy, everyone just brought the energy,” Sutton said. “We knew we had the momentum going into the half and we knew we could beat them.

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Knights defense rallies to thwart Falls

Aug. 24, 2012 11:30 p.m. | At the end of last season, there were too many bad memories for the Oak Creek football team's defense to recall, as opponents ran up and down the field on the Knights in the final three contests.

That had to change going into 2012 if the Knights were to make a run at the state playoffs.

And maybe it will on the strength of one play in the fourth quarter of Oak Creek's 21-6 season-opening triumph over nonconference opponent and host Menomonee Falls on Friday.

The Knights had dominated the Indians for much of three quarters, but after taking a 14-0 lead, they squandered a couple of opportunities to make it a three-score game.

And Falls started to put the squeeze on the Knights, as the Indians took advantage of a short punt to go 48 yards in just seven plays. Quarterback Adam Vechart's 31-yard scramble led to the Indians' only score as Justin Johnson plowed his way over from a yard out to make it 14-6 with still 9:16 left to play.

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Hamilton shows high definition

Aug. 24, 2012 11:22 p.m. | Sussex Hamilton bills its new scoreboard at Stan Grove Field as the only one of its kind at a high-school venue in Wisconsin, one that comes with a high-quality video board capable of displaying highlights packages and scrolling advertisements.

The Chargers made sure the on-field product was just as fun to look at.

Hamilton’s Drew Patterson rumbled for more than 200 yards, the defensive line flustered Franklin’s aerial assault, and the Chargers took command against a very strong squad en route to a 31-21 win Friday.

The junior Patterson, whose brother Nick was the Offensive Player of the Year in the Greater Metro Conference last year, rushed 32 times for 245 yards, including 44 yards on the final drive that milked the game’s final 4:18. He had left the game earlier in the second half with leg cramps.

“He is solid as a rock,” Hamilton coach John Damato said. “We lost him a little bit with his cramping, but I’m glad he came back. We rode his coat tails at the end there and iced it with a couple first downs.”

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Greendale neurosurgeon convicted of tax fraud

Aug. 23, 2012 5:50 p.m. | A Greendale neurosurgeon was convicted by a federal jury on tax charges resulting from what the government said was his failure to disclose $8 million in income held in a bank account in India in 2009.

Arvind Ahuja, 50, is scheduled to be sentenced in January by Chief U.S. District Judge Charles Clevert. He remains free on bond.

The jury returned its verdict late Wednesday, convicting Ahuja of filing a false tax return and of failing to file a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts. The jury acquitted Ahuja on five counts. Ahuja's attorney asked Clevert during the trial to dismiss the charges. If the judge did that, he could in effect overturn the jury's conviction. Clevert has not issued a ruling.

Ahuja moved millions from U.S. bank accounts to accounts located in India, earning more than $2.7 million in interest income between 2005 and 2009 but failing to report that income, according to prosecutors. He also maintained an account in the Bailiwick of Jersey, a British Crown dependency in the Channel Islands off the coast of Normandy, France, they said.

U.S. Attorney James Santelle said in a statement, "In combination with the Internal Revenue Service, we are committed to enforcing the tax laws fairly and even-handedly, and the jury's verdict in this case appropriately reflects the understanding of all law-abiding citizens that underreporting income and failing to report foreign bank accounts will not be tolerated."

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Franklin council delays action on Meijer proposal

Aug. 22, 2012 9:41 a.m. | Meijer Inc.'s 192,000-square-foot supermarket and discount store proposed for Franklin ran into a delay Tuesday night before that city's Common Council.

The council voted to wait until its next meeting to consider site plans for the store because Ald. Steve Olson, whose district includes the site, was not at the meeting, said Brian Randall, attorney for Meijer. He said Olson was unable to attend because of business travels.

The planned site is 29 acres northeast of Highway 100, between Loomis and Puetz roads. The council next meets on Sept. 4, although a special meeting could be held earlier, Randall said Wednesday.

The council previously changed a city ordinance that puts a maximum space cap on big box stores. That change clears the way for the Meijer proposal if the site plans are approved.

The ordinance generally limits retail stores to 125,000 square feet, but the change allows larger stores in certain areas.

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Send us your local photos and you could win movie passes

Aug. 20, 2012 12:39 p.m. | Do you have a knack for taking pictures? We'd like to see what you can do and will reward each of the three photographers who take the best shots with a pair of Marcus Theatre movie passes.

Submit your favorite pictures to the YourPhotos section of your local NOW site by Friday, Aug. 31.

The pictures can be of family, friends, a favorite pet, local park or restaurant, a favorite tavern, or anything else you think makes a good picture. Be creative.

NOW staff members will review the photos and choose three winners, who will receive movie passes. Winners will be announced the first week in September.

Submit YourPhotos

A pictorial look at Paul Ryan in the suburbs

Aug. 11, 2012 8:17 a.m. | U.S. Rep Paul Ryan, who was named this morning as Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's running mate, has made a number of recent stops in suburban Milwaukee for listening sessions.

NOW photographer Peter Zuzga was there to cover Ryan's appearances, including a stop in Franklin in 2011 and Greendale in May.

Woman wards off attacker near Warnimont Golf Course

Aug. 09, 2012 10:42 p.m. | A woman fended off an attacker Thursday evening while jogging south of Warnimont Golf Course in Cudahy, and the attacker was still at large Thursday night, police said.

According to Cudahy police, the woman was jogging on a bike trail south of the golf course about 7 p.m. when a man approached her from behind and took her to the ground.

The woman struggled with the attacker, who fled east toward the lake, police said.

The assailant was described as a Hispanic male, 25 to 30 years old, five feet, seven inches tall and weighing between 175 and 200 pounds, unshaven with short black hair and short sideburns.

He was wearing tan cargo shorts, a white T-shirt, a thin baseball cap and athletic shoes. The cap was described as white, with a blue visor and tan inner lining, police said.

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Man arrested in sexual assault at bus stop

Aug. 08, 2012 6:54 a.m. | A 23-year-old West Allis man has been charged in connection with a July 27 sexual assault in which he is accused of grabbing a woman and touching her inappropriately at a bus stop in the 400 block of Lincoln Ave., Milwaukee police said.

Police are trying to determine whether Anthony H. Kodrich is linked to seven other similar assaults in Milwaukee, South Milwaukee and Shorewood.

Kodrich was charged Sunday with second-degree sexual assault in connection with the 5:30 p.m. July 27 incident.

Police said after the woman was attacked she later saw news reports about similar incidents in Bay View and South Milwaukee and reported the attack on her to police.

Police said they had bus video of the July 27 incident and that Detective Branko Stojsavljevic and Officer Amy Stolowski on July 30 went to the Lincoln Ave. area where the attack occurred and boarded buses to look for the suspect.

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Oak Creek mayor got call from Aurora mayor

Aug. 07, 2012 5:44 p.m. | Oak Creek - As news of the tragedy in the Sikh temple spread Sunday evening, Oak Creek Mayor Steve Scaffidi got a phone call from someone who knew exactly what he was going through: the mayor of Aurora, Colo.

Scaffidi said Tuesday afternoon that he appreciated the call from Steve Hogan, the mayor of the community where 12 people were killed and scores injured in a rampage during a midnight screening of "The Dark Knight" on July 20.

Hogan gave Scaffidi advice on how to handle the media and how to work to bring the community together after a senseless tragedy.

"This isn't something you can train for," Scaffidi said in an interview at the Oak Creek police station. "Police train for things like this, but not mayors."

Scaffidi was elected mayor in April after the December death in office of longtime mayor Dick Bolender. Scaffidi said he doesn't want people to think of Oak Creek as only the site of a mass killing.

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Waukesha, Oak Creek move closer to water deal

Aug. 07, 2012 5:14 p.m. | A draft agreement for Oak Creek to sell Lake Michigan water to the City of Waukesha will be discussed next week at meetings of each community's water utility commission, officials said Tuesday.

The commissions will be asked to recommend approval of a preliminary water deal that could be presented to their respective common councils Aug. 21, Waukesha Water Utility General Manager Dan Duchniak said.

Oak Creek's Board of Water Works and Sewer Commission will meet in a closed session Tuesday to discuss a water sale proposal, Water & Sewer Utility General Manager Steve Yttri said.

"We have exchanged several draft agreements," Yttri said. The latest proposal awaits review by the Oak Creek city attorney before it would be forwarded to the Common Council.

Waukesha's Water Utility Commission meets Aug. 16 to consider the draft agreement, Duchniak said.

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Kroupa steps down at Whitnall

Aug. 07, 2012 2:10 p.m. | Whitnall boys basketball coach Kent Kroupa, whose coaching career began at the school in 1984, has decided to retire from his position.

The Falcons reached the sectional semifinal in last year's Division 2 tournament, falling to eventual state qualifier Milwaukee Pius. He coached at Whitnall over two stretches, leading teams to state in 1986, 1988 and 2004, winning the state championship in 1988.

Kroupa, who worked with learning-disabled students at Whitnall for 32 years, coached at the school from 1984 to 1994, then left to coach at Muskego from 1995 to 2002. After taking a year off, he returned to Whitnall and immediately led the 2003-04 team to the state tournament in Madison. In his 27 years of coaching, Kroupa piled up a record of 335-279.

Kroupa said the retirement gives him a chance to spend more time with his family. He and wife Linda intend to move to the Phoenix, Ariz. area to be closer to son Craig, who teaches in the area.

Shooter's odd behavior did not go unnoticed

Aug. 07, 2012 12:33 a.m. | He wore his beliefs on his arm, along with his hate.

He called non-whites "dirt people," and sent roses to his grandmother.

He talked about accomplishing positive results in society, then killed six people and tried to gun down a cop (hitting him at least eight times) who was helping the wounded.

Wade Michael Page, dead himself in the wake of his mass-slaying rampage at the Sikh temple in Oak Creek Sunday, appears to have been many things - Army veteran of a special unit, fired truck driver, devoted grandson, hard-metal musician, white supremacist.

But to psychiatric nurse Jennifer Dunn, the 40-year-old with the shaved head was merely the "creepy quiet" neighbor who moved into her Cudahy building three weeks ago, toting his belongings in two black plastic garbage bags.

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Church plans Monday night prayer vigil

Aug. 06, 2012 12:32 p.m. | A candlelight prayer vigil for victims of the deadly shooting at the Oak Creek Sikh temple and their families will be held by the Oak Creek Community United Methodist church at 7:30 p.m. Monday at S. 13th St. and W. Puetz Road.

"I call us together for a time of prayer in support for our fellow brothers and sisters, especially those Sikh families who have lost loved ones," said the Rev. Paul Armstrong, pastor of the church, 8675 S. 13th St. "We pray for the police officer and his family who first engaged the shooter and was wounded in so doing. Let us pray against the increasing violence seen in our communities. Let us pray and act for peace."

Injured Oak Creek police officer was finalist for chief in 2010

Aug. 06, 2012 11:30 a.m. | Brian Murphy, the Oak Creek police lieutenant who waved off help despite being shot multiple times in yesterday's mass shooting at the Sikh temple, was a finalist for the chief of police position in 2010.

The 51-year-old was listed in critical condition at Froedtert Hospital in Wauwatosa as of Monday morning.

See social media salutes to Murphy here.

Officer's heroics no surprise to former boss

Aug. 06, 2012 11:28 a.m. | Oak Creek Police Lt. Brian Murphy, 51, was shot eight to nine times but then waved off help from fellow officers Sunday during the carnage at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin.

"He told them to go into the temple," Oak Creek Police Chief John Edwards said Monday.

Murphy is in critical condition at Froedtert Hospital in Wauwatosa.

One man who knows Murphy well was not surprised by the actions of the 21-year member of the force.

"He is that guy," former Oak Creek Police Chief Thomas Bauer said in describing Murphy's heroic actions.

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Shooter identified as Wade Michael Page

Aug. 06, 2012 8:34 a.m. | Sources familiar with the Oak Creek temple shooting investigation identified the shooter as Wade Michael Page, 40.

According to the sources, he served in the Army for several years and was assigned to psychological operations, or PsyOps. He is no longer in the Army.

Oak Creek Police Chief John Edwards said Monday that he would not release the name of the shooter until 10 a.m. He said the suspect has "only lived in our area for a short time" and is a military vet. "We've gotten a lot of tips" and "we're trying to determine a motive," he said.

According to records obtained by the Journal Sentinel, Page appears to have lived the last several years in North Carolina, Colorado and Texas, before arriving in the Milwaukee area earlier this year. Several listed addresses associated with Page suggest he has been in the U.S. military.

CBS News is reporting that Page served in the Army in the 1990s and was attached to a psychological operations unit. He was given a less-than-honorable discharge from the Army in October 2008, according to CBS.

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7 killed, including shooter, at Sikh Temple in Oak Creek

Aug. 06, 2012 12:44 a.m. | The children were downstairs, in Sunday school.

The women were in the kitchen nearby, cooking the weekly meal that is free to all.

And the gunman was striding into the wide-open Sikh Temple, bent on killing as many people as he could.

Then came the shots, ripped off, according to a weapons instructor who lives nearby, "as fast as you can pull the trigger."

By the time the shooter was done, six people lay dead or mortally wounded in what Oak Creek police said was being treated as a domestic terrorist incident - if so, one without precedent in Wisconsin.

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Cudahy neighborhood cordoned off

Aug. 05, 2012 7:20 p.m. | Cudahy - Police investigating the Oak Creek temple shootings have cordoned off the 3700 block of E. Holmes Ave., just south of downtown Cudahy. A large contingent of law enforcement and fire department vehicles are in the vicinity. The neighborhood was being evacuated.

Ted Slater, a neighbor, said the property police were searching was the second floor of a two-story duplex. It's a two-story white duplex with red trim. Slater said police had been searching the other level and that police were seen on the upper-level balcony behind the building.

A military-style Humvee with FBI markings on the side of it moved up the street shortly after 6 p.m. with its lights flashing, moving along the west end of the block.. Authorities in green military uniforms with FBI insignia were seen moving up and down an alley and a street near the duplex.

Alma Reyes lives on the corner, three houses from the property in question. She was unable to get to her home with her two young daughters. She said the duplex had been vacant until recently.

Racine man arrested in South Milwaukee bank robbery case

Aug. 02, 2012 12:38 p.m. | A 31-year-old Racine man was arrested Thursday morning in connection with the July 14 robbery of the Tri-City Bank branch at 2901 S. Chicago Ave., South Milwaukee police said.

Police said that the man was taken into custody without incident, and that he admitted the robbery.

He is being held at the Milwaukee County Jail, and the case has been referred to the county district attorney's office for charges.

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We've made it easy for you to get out and go this summer. From hitting the trails for a bike ride or walk, to where to find beer gardens in the area, to the best places to swim in Waukesha County to the best summer drinks and summer reads, check out our 2016 summer guide.