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Grafton lawyer accused of claiming AT&T box was filled with anthrax PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by BILL SCHANEN IV   
Wednesday, 24 January 2018 18:57

Man who is charged with disorderly conduct for Jan. 17 incident at UPS Store later told police he was just kidding

    A man accused of telling the manager of the Grafton UPS Store that the AT&T cable TV box he wanted to ship was filled with anthrax and that he hoped the AT&T employees who received it died was charged last week with misdemeanor disorderly conduct.
    When confronted by police shortly after the Wednesday, Jan. 17, incident, David J. Turiciano, a 44-year-old lawyer from Grafton, admitted to making those comments but said they were intended to be a joke, according to the criminal complaint filed in Ozaukee County Circuit Court.
    Turiciano walked into the UPS Store at 1369 Port Washington Rd. just after 3 p.m. with an AT&T U-Verse cable box and talked to the manager, who said she refused to take the box after Turiciano made the comments about anthrax. She said he then left the store with the box, uttering what she believed to be a Russian expletive, the criminal complaint states.
    Authorities tracked Turiciano down, and members of the Ozaukee County and City of Milwaukee Fire Department HASMAT teams, as well as the Grafton Fire Department, tested his car and the box. No signs of anthrax were detected, according to the complaint.
    The box was turned over to the FBI for more thorough testing.
    Turiciano pleaded not guilty to the disorderly conduct charge during a court hearing Thursday, Jan. 18. Ozaukee County Circuit Judge Paul Malloy set his bail at a $1,000 signature bond and ordered him not to have contact with UPS or AT&T stores.
    Court records indicate Turiciano is representing clients in a handful of civil cases pending in Ozaukee County Circuit Court.Daily Press

School Board succeeds in putting question on ballot PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by BILL SCHANEN IV   
Wednesday, 24 January 2018 18:55

PW-S officials collect enough signatures to ask voters in April whether to change the way long-vacant seat is filled

    It came down to the wire, but the Port Washington-Saukville School Board has collected enough signatures to ask voters on the April 3 ballot to change the way one of its members is elected, Supt. Michael Weber said Tuesday.
    Board members who had circulated petitions for months reached a total of 550 signatures just hours before the deadline Tuesday, Jan. 23. After duplicate signatures and those of people who don’t live in the School District were eliminated, the total stood at 512 — 12 more than needed to put the question on the spring ballot.
    “All the board’s time and effort paid off,” Weber said.
    The ballot question will ask voters if a board seat that represents a small area of the district and has long been vacant should be changed to an at-large position that can be filled by a person living anywhere in the district.
    The board would remain at nine members, and the new seat would replace one that currently represents a small section of the towns of Saukville and Grafton. That seat has been vacant since October 2015, and with only about 350 registered voters living in this area, a candidate to run for the position, or even a person willing to apply for a board appointment, has been elusive.
    Board bylaws currently call for the board to consist of five members from the City of Port Washington, two from the Village of Saukville and one each from the Town of Port Washington and the towns of Saukville and Grafton. The proposed change would only affect the Saukville-Grafton town seat.
    Although board members represent specific areas of the district, all voters may vote for all candidates. For example, a Village of Saukville resident may vote for a City of Port Washington School Board candidate.
    If voters approve the change, it will not take effect until the three-year term of the current town of Saukville-Grafton seat expires in April 2019.
    “You wouldn’t think getting 500 signatures would be that difficult — the board didn’t think it would be — but it turns out it takes a lot of time,” Weber said earlier this month.
    The problem wasn’t that residents are opposed to the change, he said, but that it takes time to explain the issue to residents being asked to sign the petition.
    The School Board had intended to propose the change on the April 2017 ballot but fell short of the 500 signatures needed to present it to voters.
    This time around, board members circulated petitions at events where the proposed change can be explained to a number of people at once.
    A vacant Saukville-Grafton town seat was not always a problem. For 16 years it was occupied by Jim Eden, who served as board president for two of those years before resigning in March 2014.
    The board appointed Paul Krechel in July 2014. Krechel ran unopposed in the April 2015 election but resigned in October of that year.
    Despite the district’s efforts to find an appointee to fill the seat, as well as an April 2016 election that failed to attract a registered or even a write-in candidate, the seat has remained vacant since Krechel’s departure.Daily Press

Snowmobile crash on river claims life of Port man PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by BILL SCHANEN IV   
Wednesday, 24 January 2018 18:52

Twenty-nine-year-old dies after hitting tree in late-night, Town of Fredonia accident

    A 29-year-old Port Washington man died of his injuries after a late-night snowmobile crash on the Milwaukee River in the Town of Fredonia Wednesday, Jan. 17.
    Daniel Dickmann was riding a Polaris snowmobile south on the frozen river with friends when he failed to make a turn where the river bends near the intersection of Highways Z and I and hit a tree along the bank shortly before midnight, according to authorities.
    Wisconsin of Natural Resources Conservation Warden Tony Young said it’s not clear how fast Dickmann was going.
    “We can say that it wasn’t slow,” Young said. “We know speed was involved.”
    Dickmann’s friends, who apparently didn’t have cell phones, flagged down a passing motorist, who called for help, Young said.
    A Waubeka Fire Department ambulance took Dickmann, a 2007 Port Washington High School graduate who grew up in Saukville, to Aurora Medical Center in Grafton, where he was pronounced dead, Lt. Wayne Lambrecht of the Ozaukee County Sheriff’s Office said.
    A lack of snow has made the Milwaukee River essentially the only place to snowmobile in Ozaukee County this winter, and without snow cover to provide traction, the river is slick, Young said.
    “The trails aren’t open. In fact, they haven’t even been close to being open this winter,” he said.
    Lambrecht said the Jan. 17 crash was the first snowmobile accident reported to the sheriff’s office this season and the first fatal snowmobile accident in years.
    According to the DNR, Dickmann was the sixth person who died as the result of snowmobile accidents in Wisconsin this winter.  In all of the crashes, snowmobiles hit fixed objects such as trees and, in one case, a shoreline. All the crashes except the Town of Fredonia accident occurred in far northern Wisconsin.
    An obituary for Dickmann appears on page 11B.Daily Press

Southside trailer park land vexes Port officials PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Wednesday, 17 January 2018 19:40

CDA members look for ideas on what to do with less-than-ideal parcel

    Port Washington officials are looking for a few good ideas on what to do with the city-owned former trailer park property on South Spring Street.
    While members of the Community Development Authority originally planned to hold a public meeting to solicit ideas for the 1-3/4-acre site, they decided Monday to scrap that idea.
    Members said they were unsure how big a turnout they would get, especially given sparse attendance at some recent city meetings.
    “I don’t know if a meeting would work. I went to the wheel tax meeting and no one was there,” CDA member Erica Roller said, noting that’s a hot-button issue in the community. “I was shocked.”
    Members are hoping for public input on future uses for the property, which the city bought in 2007 with the intent of redeveloping it.
    The parcel has some challenges, members noted. There are overhead power lines that traverse the lot, railroad tracks just to the east and a trailer park to the south.
    “Who’s going to want to live there or raise a family there with those high wires?” CDA member Rory Palubiski asked.
    Someone suggested it be developed as a “pocket neighborhood,” but Randy Tetzlaff, the city’s director of planning and development, said the numbers don’t work.
    “I think someone would consider doing it if the city would finance it,” he said.
    Through the years, Tetzlaff said, the city has received little interest in the parcel.
    One person wanted to place mini-warehouses on the property, he said, while another sought to purchase both the city land and the adjoining trailer park, consolidate the parcels and create an upscale mobile home park, but he couldn’t come to an agreement with the neighboring property owner.
    The CDA decided Monday to solicit ideas on the city’s website and elsewhere on social media, a concept lauded by Kim Haskell, 767 W. Grand Ave.
    “It might shake some ideas out,” Haskell said.
    Committee members agreed.
    “If we get one or two good ideas, it’s worth it,” Palubiski said.Daily Press

Ex-Grafton man survives bear attack, winds up in the spotlight PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Written by JOE POIRIER   
Wednesday, 17 January 2018 19:37

Florida resident says he’s glad to be alive, surprised to be the subject of headlines

    After surviving a black bear attack last week, former Grafton resident Andy Meunier is glad to be alive and he’s even more surprised the story is making headlines around the world.
    “I can’t believe this is getting international attention,” Meunier said from his home in Naples, Fla.
    At about 11 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 9, Meunier was letting his Pomeranian out of the house when he was blindsided by a 250-pound bear.
    “When I was closing the door I heard the dog growl and jump back into the house, which I thought was a little odd,” he said. “When I turned around I saw a black bear pretty much in my face and I thought, ‘I got to get out of here.’ But before I could do that, the bear hit me in the face.”
    Meunier said the blow knocked him back into his home and he was able to secure the door.
    “I didn’t even realize, at the time, that I was bleeding until I looked in the mirror — then I felt like I was standing in a shower because the blood was running down my face,” he said.
    After calling 911, Meunier spent four hours in the hospital, and received 41 stitches to his face and right ear.
    “I never thought I was going to die because it happened so fast and I didn’t have any time to think about it,” he said.
    The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission is patrolling the area surrounding his home at night and have set up bear traps with donuts for bait.
    “Unfortunately, when they find the bear they’re going to have to euthanize it,” he said, noting the bear has two cubs that are about 2 years old that will be relocated when they are found.
    The only other resident in the house at the time of the bear attack was Meunier’s 7-year-old daughter, who was startled when she saw her father.
    Meunier’s dog Howie came away from the incident unscathed.
    “He was smarter than I was. He got back in faster than I could,” Meunier said.
    Meunier said he had his stitches removed on Monday, and is currently on a regimen of antibiotics. Daily Press

Latest Harbor Campus plan satisfies Port design board PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Wednesday, 10 January 2018 18:55

Facade of facility won’t change but new building would be farther from homes

    A revamped plan for the renovation of the Harbor Campus senior living facility on Port Washington’s north side were recommended for concept approval Tuesday by the city’s Design Review Board, which last month panned the proposal.
    The plan unveiled Tuesday still make no improvement to the campus’ Walters Street facade, but does move a proposed three-story, 66-unit independent senior living apartment building that will be constructed south of the current facility.
    By moving the new building to the east, it will be at least 60 feet away from neighboring houses on Holden Street — significantly more than the 20 feet required by code and the 35 feet proposed by property owner Capri Senior Communities last month.
    The plans also altered the configuration of a rectangular retention pond on the southwest side of the property, turning it into two smaller, undulating water features.
    “We believe we took into account all your feedback,” Amy Schoenemann of Tarantino & Co. told the board.
    “I think it’s a huge improvement,” board member Jorgen Hansen, an architect, said.
    Board member Marc Eernisse said he particularly liked the changes to the retention pond, especially since it will become a feature on the land with a gazebo and bridge to be added in the future.
    “I like what you’ve done with the pond,” he said.
    Hansen suggested that landscaped islands be added to the current parking lot outside the Harbor Club, while Vanden Noven suggested additional landscaping in the parking lot for the new building.
    “It seems like a lot of hard surfaces,” Vanden Noven said.
    The plan is a far cry from the sweeping overhaul of the property proposed by Capri last year — a plan Schoenemann said turned out to ultimately be too costly to implement.
    While the original plan would have made changes to the facade of the original building, a former hospital turned senior living facility, and created a grand entrance on Walters Street, the revised plan does little to alter the exterior of the original structure.
    Now, the plan is to create a master entrance near the Harbor Club, extending and enhancing the driveway on the west side of the property to the south and adding landscaping.
    The expanded driveway, which will include a new parking area near the Harbor Club, will lead to the new senior apartment building, which will have underground parking.
    Future phases of the plan call for an expansion of the existing memory care unit, and several smaller multi-family, independent-living buildings on the southeast side of the property.
    There is no timetable for these additional buildings, Schoenemann said.
    The revised plan will be considered by the Plan Commission at its 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 11, meeting.Daily Press

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