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Greendale alters grading scale to match other schools

Sept. 22, 2009 12:56 p.m. | Keeping with the theme of leveling the playing field, the Greendale School Board on Monday approved changes to the high school grading scale.

Regular high school classes are now graded on a 10-point scale as opposed to the eight-point scale previously in place. An A in a course would mean students' final grade must be between 90 and 100, a B between 80 and 89, and so on.

The decision came a month after the board voted to eliminate class rank, largely on the basis it puts students at a competitive disadvantage when applying to colleges.

"In the simplest terms, we are attempting to level the playing field for Greendale High School students when college admissions officers and scholarship committees consider our students for post-secondary opportunities," Principal Steve Lodes wrote in a report to School Board members.

The grading scale change came after considerable research, including surveys and listening sessions for parents, students and staff, Lodes said.

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Meijer to provide food for Oak Creek's annual 'Evening of Blessings'

1:46 p.m. | Oak Creek — Meijer, the new supercenter in Drexel Town Square, will provide food for the Oak Creek Community Center's 10th annual "Evening of Blessings" from 4 to 7 p.m. Nov. 25.

The annual event, staffed by 100 volunteers, is a free, public event focused on providing a Thanksgiving meal to community members, including local senior citizens, individuals without families in the area, and those who may not be able to afford a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.

"Our mission at Meijer is to provide healthy and affordable food options to the communities we serve," Oak Creek Meijer Store Director Polly Emelander said. "Partnering with the Oak Creek Community Center was a natural fit and we're happy to support to a community that has been so welcoming."

The event will be held at the community center, 8580 S. Howell Ave.

"We're grateful to Meijer for providing the majority of the food for this year's Thanksgiving meal," said Rich Duchniak, executive director of the Oak Creek Community Center. "Our Evening of Blessings has become a Thanksgiving tradition for many residents in the community and we're proud to have Meijer as a partner."

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Greendale School Board Academy to be held for prospective spring election candidates

10:48 a.m. | Greendale — Village residents interested in running for a seat on the Greendale School Board in the spring election will have an opportunity to learn more during the annual School Board Academy on Monday, Dec. 14.

During the meeting, Greendale's Interim Superintendent Dr. Paul Strobel and School Board President Joe Crapitto will present information on the duties and responsibilities of school board members, school finance, law, and personnel issues, ethical practices and accountability.

The five-member school board will have two positions on the 2016 Spring Ballot. The successful candidate will serve a regular, three-year term on the board. Ballot. To be on the ballot, all candidates must submit the required Declaration of Candidacy and file their Campaign Registration Statement at the District Office by 5 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 5.

The School Board Academy will be held from 7 to 8 p.m. in the Greendale School District Office, 6815 Southway. Registration for the event is requested by 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 11., requested by calling Mary Ann Jacobsen at (414) 423-2700, ext. 2702.

Franklin girls basketball team has talent, looks for depth

10:17 a.m. | Normally in any other year, Franklin girls basketball coach Tony Kathrens would welcome changes like the 18-minute halves and 36-minute games that are being experimented with this season by the WIAA.

Because the Sabers have always lived by being uptempo and by running as many people into the game as humanly possible.

But this is not any other year for Franklin. Despite the return of three starters, Kathrens worries about having enough depth to handle the rigors of the longer game over a 22-game schedule, especially when it has to try and challenge three-time Southeast champion and archrival Oak Creek at least twice a season.

"At our best, I think we can go seven or eight deep," he said. "Everyone else is learning this year."

The Sabers will have a chaotic opening week that will severely test that depth. They challenged Martin Luther on Nov. 24 and then will have two state-ranked challenges this weekend in the Brookfield Central Shootout. They will play De Pere at 3:45 p.m. Friday, Nov. 27, and then will take on Green Bay Notre Dame at 10:45 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 28.

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Oak Creek pulls away late to beat Brookfield Central, 59-46

Nov. 21, 2015 12:25 p.m. | Both Oak Creek and Brookfield Central played their first girls basketball game of the season Friday night at Central as the Knights pulled away in the second half for a 59-46 victory.

There were some good things and bad things for both teams according to the coaches.

The Knights are coming off a 14-0 Southeast Conference Championship, having lost to Divine Savior Holy Angels in the sectional finals to finish 21-5.

After a low-scoring first half — Oak Creek led, 17-16 — which was dominated by defense and poor shooting, the Knights pulled away late in the second half (42-30) to win by 13 points.

“It looked like the first game (of the season) in the first half,” Oak Creek coach Steve Hluchnik said. “I honestly didn’t know what to expect. I thought we would struggle at times scoring, but not like that. We were 0-for-11 in the paint in the first half. The posts got their butts chewed in the first half and we didn’t perform like we could in the first half.”

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Oak Creek 8th graders 'view the world' as journalists in writing unit, 4 essays to be posted online

Nov. 19, 2015 2:40 p.m. | Oak Creek — Hundreds of eighth-graders from across the Oak Creek-Franklin Joint School District dove into the world of investigative journalism as part of their writing unit this fall.

And four of those students from East Middle School are now featured online, through a partnership with MyCommunityNow Newspapers.

As part of the journalism unit, students were asked to address a topical subject through narrative writing. Topics ranged from school commentary to local government to social issues, such as teen pregnancy.

The program is designed to "synthesize story writing skills with informative writing, like professional journalists do," said Language Arts teacher Dan Piotrowski, one of four teachers who organized the unit. "The journalism unit also encourages students to begin viewing the world from a new perspective, one from which they need to observe details, gather quotes and synthesize multiple perspectives to tell a relevant news story."

This is the second year the district has taught a journalism unit to its eighth-grade classes, having adopted a new comprehensive writing curriculum during the 2014-15 school year. Although the new curriculum is only two years old, middle school teachers have already seen significant improvement in their students' writing abilities, Piotrowski said.

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Updated state championship game rankings of area prep football teams and players

Franklin's $37 million budget for 2016 sees few tax changes

Nov. 18, 2015 4:52 p.m. | Franklin — The City of Franklin will see no increase in the tax levy for the third year in a row — the Common Council voted to adopt the 2016 city budget on Nov. 17.

After some expenditures were cut from the mayor's recommended budget — amendments motioned by Alderman Steve Taylor, and passed by the Committee of the Whole on Oct. 13 — the 2016 budget came in at a total of about $37 million, a nine percent decrease from 2015's budget of $41 million. The tax levy remained at about $20.5 million, unchanged from the last three years.

The lower total budget amount is because of a lower Capital Improvement Fund, said Director of Finance and Treasurer Paul Rotzenberg said. A new water and waste building was included in the 2015 budget.

The 2016 tax rate is about $6.26 per $1,000 of assessed property value, a less than one percent decrease from 2015's tax rate of $6.30. A home valued at $200,000 will pay about $1,250 in property taxes in 2016.

The 2016 budget will allow for $25,000 in additional appropriations within the Economic Development division for additional professional services or resources.

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Rawson Avenue closure beginning Nov. 18

Nov. 18, 2015 12:21 p.m. | Franklin — Rawson Avenue at Highway 100 will be closed for one to two weeks, beginning on Wednesday, Nov. 18, according to the City of Franklin's website.

Rawson Avenue, including the ramps to and from Highway 100, will be closed for an emergency storm sewer repair by Milwaukee County, beginning at 6 a.m. on Nov. 18.

While a detour route is posted, the city's website advised drivers to choose an alternate route during the closure.

Cudahy man found dead near hunting tree stand in Adams County

Nov. 18, 2015 11:56 a.m. | A Cudahy man who was last seen alive Saturday has been found dead near a tree stand in Adams County, officials say.

The man, Linn C. Nelson, 75, was reported missing to the Adams County Sheriff's Office Dispatch Center on Tuesday just after 10:30 a.m., according to a news release. Nelson was reportedly in the area hunting.

Nelson's vehicle was located in the town of Preston on public hunting land, and he was found dead near the base of a hunting tree stand. Officials say the investigation does not show there to be foul play. No further details are available.

Greendale trustees raise tax levy 1 percent, bump up budget by 45 percent to construct fire station

Nov. 18, 2015 11:37 a.m. | Greendale — Despite one trustee's request to freeze the tax levy for 2015, the Greendale Village Board recently approved a 1 percent increase for taxpayers.

Trustee Carl Genz argued for a reduction in the village's proposed budget to help Greendale's senior residents during a Committee of the Whole meeting Nov. 17.

For most residents whose home values remained the same during a recent assessment of property, the 1 percent increase would actually result in 1.3 percent increase in their tax bill. The average homeowner would see an increase of about $20.

"Twenty dollars might not seem like a lot to some people, but it means a lot to others … (especially) for the elderly and seniors in the village who are on a fixed income and rely on social security," Genz said.

"I look around our community and I see our (area) neighbors are at a 0 percent (levy increase) or below," Genz added. "Our school board claims they'll be at a 0 percent tax levy increase and even Milwaukee County, with all their problems, claim to be at 0 percent. I don't see why Greendale can't do the same."

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Coming off good season, will Oak Creek football team dare to be great?

Nov. 17, 2015 9:27 p.m. | It was a "good vibe" team all fall for Oak Creek football coach Mike Bartholomew in what was supposed to be a heavy rebuilding year for the Knights.

But now Bartholomew wants to take that "good vibe" and make it great. The Knights finished with an encouraging 8-3 mark this season with a tough season-ending loss to Classic 8 Conference co-champion Muskego.

They will return a very healthy number of players from that squad, will add in people from an 8-1 junior varsity team and should be a preseason favorite in the Southeast. But Bartholomew wants them to think bigger things.

He met with next year's seniors last week and and posed them a simple question: "Do you want to be good or do you want to be great?"

In short, as he left on a recent message, telling me that he would not be going to any Level 3 playoff games because "he's sick of going to them as a spectator," he wants more from his players.

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Nine Oak Creek athletes sign letters of intent

Nov. 17, 2015 8:59 p.m. | It was a red-letter signing day for Oak Creek athletic program on Nov. 11 as nine athletes signed letters of intent indicating what they'd like to do with their futures.

Highlighting the list is 2015 Now All-Suburban boys basketball player Harrison Cleary, who signed with NCAA D2 Minnesota-Crookston as a guard. Meanwhile, three members of the defending Southeast Conference girls basketball team, guard Katie Settingsgaard (Olivet Nazarene University) and forwards Madison Hart (McKendree University) and Nicole Widenski (Lee University), will all play in college next year.

Though the volleyball season was a struggle for the Knights, top performer Sara Januszewski received an offer from Ohio University from the Mid-American Conference and will attend school there next fall. A member of the defending Southeast Conference and WIAA sectional champion Knight wrestling team, Ethan Kaschak, will try his hand with William Penn University.

Athletic director and baseball coach Scott Holler was very pleased to note that three members of his Southeast Conference champion and WIAA sectional runner-up team will continue on: pitcher/infielder DJ Ellifson (St. Cloud State), pitcher/outfielder Matt Hamilton (Illinois State) and pitcher Kurtis Sippy (College of Lake County).

Franklin, Oak Creek swimmers finish well at state

Nov. 17, 2015 3:51 p.m. | The girls swimming season for Franklin and Oak Creek ended on solid notes on Nov. 14 in the WIAA D1 meet at the UW-Madison Natatorium.

In her second state meet, Oak Creek sophomore Cassie Ketterling broke her own school record in the 200-yard individual medley by tying for ninth in a time of 2:06.68, which was almost a full second faster than what she swam the previous week in the sectional.

She later came back turned in another best time in taking 12th in the 500 free with a 5:09.57 clocking, which was again over a full second faster than what she swam at sectional.

Knight teammate junior Isabelle Anderson had a sound debut, surviving both the early cuts in diving and taking 14th with a fine score of 368.8 points.

Those efforts gave the Knights a total of 16 points, good for a tie for 26th as Arrowhead won yet another state title with 301 points.

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Hales Corners Chamber of Commerce to host social on Nov. 24

Nov. 17, 2015 3:44 p.m. | Hales Corners— The Hales Corners Chamber of Commerce will host a social on Tuesday, Nov. 24, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at That's Amore Italian Restaurant, located at 5080 South 108th St., Greenfield.

West Allis Mayor Dan Devine will be speaking on the topic of "how business development is rejuvenating neighborhoods in the City of West Allis."

RSVP by calling 414-425-7150.

Oak Creek Culver's to host annual Kids2Kids Toy Drive

Nov. 16, 2015 4:48 p.m. | Oak Creek — The local Culver's will host its annual Kids2Kids Toy Drive, in partnership with Kapco, from Nov. 20 to Dec. 10.

"We're proud to call Oak Creek home and doing our part to help just feels right," Oak Creek Culver's owner Rodney Dent stated in a news release. "We strive to make a difference in the community we share with so many others, and partnering with Kapco allows us to help make Christmas a little brighter for local children and their families."

Kapco is a metal stamping company based in Grafton, Wisconsin.

Toys can be donated at the Culver's location in Oak Creek, 7841 S. Howell Ave.

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