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Franklin earns first-ever state softball berth, 1-0, over Tremper

June 07, 2012 10:03 p.m. | After the congratulatory hugs, after all the photos, and after getting the WIAA sectional championship plaque that symbolized what the Franklin softball team had accomplished with its 1-0 win over Kenosha Tremper Thursday afternoon, Sabers' pitcher Annie Versnik nudged outfielder Kayla Plath in the ribs, laughed and said what this first-ever trip to the state tournament really means:

"Real dugouts," she chuckled.

Then her and Plath both broke up laughing as they thought about Franklin's upcoming trip to the Goodman Stadium Diamond in Madison (with its real dugouts) on Thursday, June 14, when it will take on Sun Prairie in a 1:30 p.m. WIAA state quarterfinal game.

But it was no  joke about the Sabers had accomplished, as one assistant coach said after they broke their post-game huddle. "You get your name on a banner, you're the first."

"This is amazing, an unreal and completely great feeling," said Versnik. "No one here had ever done it before."

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Franklin School District taking facility plan to referendum

June 07, 2012 1:26 p.m. | The Franklin School Board voted, 5-2, last night to move forward with a plan to improve facilities at Franklin High School and Forest Park Middle School.

This plan will direct attention to the top three priorities indicated from the Franklin community survey results:

These are to:

Increase academic capacity at the high school by expanding general classrooms and science areas, and also creating a secure main entry and addressing the parking situation. This project is estimated to cost $21.4 million.

Expand the art and music classroom areas and add an auditorium for school and community use, which would cost about $11.6 million.

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Looking for your local polling place?

June 05, 2012 9:10 a.m. | If you would like to cast a vote today in Wisconsin's election and are not sure where your local polling place is, check out the Wisconsin Voter Public Access Page.

There you will find your local polling place, a sample ballot, list of elected officials and more.

Polls are open today until 8 p.m.

Wisconsin Voter Public Access Page

Oak Creek poised to withdraw Sheraton hotel financing

June 05, 2012 7:00 a.m. | The Oak Creek Common Council is poised to withdraw a preliminary plan to provide financing help for a Sheraton Four Points hotel after the developer was named in a foreclosure suit.

The council, at its Tuesday night meeting, is to consider a resolution that would rescind the plan to provide $4.5 million to help develop the 107-room hotel, and a covered 1,830-space parking lot aimed at travelers flying in and out of nearby Mitchell International Airport.

The hotel was proposed for the southeast corner of S. Howell and E. College avenues by developer Greg Trapani, whose family operates Trapani Construction Co., of Arlington Heights, Ill.

I reported last week that a foreclosure suit, filed in Milwaukee County Circuit Court by Morton Community Bank, of Morton, Ill., claims two investment groups, Trapani Family Properties LLC and Syner G Oak Creek LLC, owe $3.96 million from three defaulted loans.

Trapani said then that the suit is being dismissed, although neither a response to the foreclosure claim nor a dismissal notice has been filed yet, according to online court records.

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Ladder ball trash talking leads to arrest for disorderly conduct

June 04, 2012 12:57 p.m. | A 34-year-old South Milwaukee man was arrested for disorderly conduct after a game of ladder ball got out of hand last week.

According to the police report:

The man was arrested after striking another person with a ladder ball (two golf balls connected by a rope) in the 1300 block of Marquette Avenue in South Milwaukee at 5:12 p.m. May 27.

The two had been playing ladder ball, and the man became upset that his opponent kept yelling "miss" each time he threw the ball.

He is accused of striking his opponent in the left hip, the face and forehead.

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Oak Creek coal plant repairs completed

June 04, 2012 10:09 a.m. | A We Energies coal plant in Oak Creek that had been out of service since last fall returned to full power late last week, a utility spokesman said.

The first of two new coal-fired power plants the utility opened in Oak Creek in recent years needed repairs because of problems that could have led to corrosion of a critical component, the steam turbine.

The plant, which opened in early 2010, was shut down in late September for an inspection and then repairs. It returned to service last week, said utility spokesman Brian Manthey. The inspection took place before a two-year warranty from contractor Bechtel Power Corp. was set to expire.

The inspection revealed chloride deposits on the blades of the steam turbine, which required blades and other parts to be replaced.

Construction of the two power plants in Oak Creek was the most expensive building project in state history, costing about $2.35 billion. The two plants generate 1,230 megawatts of electricity, or enough to supply about 1 million homes.

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