Headlines: Apartment Fire, Eaton Donation, Bus Shelter Art, and More

The roundup this week includes this item from the South Milwaukee Police Department weekly summary and the South Milwaukee Fire Department …

“Officers and South Milwaukee Fire Department personnel were dispatched to a report of a fire in the 400 block of Southtowne Drive at 10:47 p.m. on Sept. 8. Upon arrival smoke was observed coming from an apartment in the DD building at the Southtowne Village Apartments. All occupants were able to exit the building and the fire, which was concentrated in an apartment kitchen area, was extinguished by South Milwaukee Fire Department personnel. The incident remains under investigation by both the South Milwaukee Police Department and South Milwaukee Fire Department.”

And these headlines …

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Bring Municipal Court to School


Earlier this month, City Attorney Chris Smith updated the South Milwaukee Common Council on a seemingly small innovation that is paying big dividends.

The problem was simple: We were requiring young offenders — mostly for cases in involving truancy — to leave school and attend court at City Hall to deal with their tickets. In doing so, kids would often miss a half day or more of class … all to deal with a case that started with them missing class in the first place.

The solution was just as simple: Move Municipal Court to the schools.

That’s what Chris, in partnership with school leaders, did. And it’s working.

Learn more in the presentation Chris gave here. Here are the benefits from it …

  • Less non-appearances (default judgements)
  • Much higher engagement with schools
  • Greatly reducing the amount of class time missed
  • Greatly reducing the amount of juveniles loitering at City Hall during the day

We continue to innovate in ways big and small in city government, and we must always strive to do better in delivering the services you fund with your taxpayer money more efficiently and more effectively.

And when we can work with the schools to do it, all the better.

That is why I will always get behind ideas like this.


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Looking Beautiful, South Milwaukee: And the Curb Appeal Award Winners Are …



900 Sherman Avenue


240 Hawthorne Avenue


704 Lake Drive


613 Walnut Street


1605 Sherman Avenue


Molthen-Bell & Son Funeral Home (700 Milwaukee Avenue)


Educators Credit  Union (1201 Marquette Avenue)

South Milwaukee has curb appeal!

Thanks to everyone who submitted nominations for our first-annual South Milwaukee Beautification Committee Curb Appeal Awards — the latest in the series of awards the committee is sponsoring throughout the year.

My takeaway from our judging tour last weekend: There are lots of people committed to doing their part to make South Milwaukee beautiful. Very impressive.

It was a difficult choice for the committee judges, and here are the “best of the best” …

  • img_5092Grand Prize: 900 Sherman Avenue
  • 704 Lake Drive
  • 1605 Sherman Avenue
  • 240 Hawthorne Avenue
  • 613 Walnut Street
  • 1201 Marquette Avenue (Educators Credit Union)
  • 700 Milwaukee Avenue (Molthen-Bell & Son Funeral Home)


Each of the homeowners will receive $50, a yard sign (put them up today), and recognition at an upcoming council meeting, in addition to kudos on my and the city’s digital platforms. The businesses will receive everything but the cash.

Thanks to everyone who helped make this new awards program happen, and we look forward to bringing it back next year. Remember, we can only judge homes and businesses that are nominated, so if you see a worthy address, let us know!

Also, don’t forget about the upcoming Beautification Committee awards. Nominations are being taken for the Rocketober Awards now, and we are bringing back the Light Up South Milwaukee Holiday Lights Awards heading into Christmas.

Make your plans now to help us recognize the “best of the best” in South Milwaukee.

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Fifth Annual: Rocketober 2018 is Here … and it Starts This Weekend!

The idea is simple: As South Milwaukee remains the only community in the area to hold trick-or-treating on its rightful day each year (Halloween evening), let’s also “own” the holiday in the area, and fall as a whole for that matter.

Round up all the cool fall and Halloween-related events going on around town, help create a few new ones, brand the whole enterprise, and jointly promote it. And, along the way, celebrate a great time of year to be a South Milwaukeean.

Welcome to year five of Rocketober! Here is your schedule.

It starts this weekend with a Suburban Soles Guided Nature Walk and Food Truck Sunday. We’ll see you around town … and be sure to like the Rocketober Facebook page for the most up-to-date schedule, event flyers, photos and more.

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Local Support: South Milwaukee Human Concerns Earns $30,000 Eaton Corp. Grant


eaton-logo-mobile.png.pagespeed.ce.B32eoH_8joEaton Corp. steps up again, this time to support South Milwaukee’s much-deserving social service agency. From Human Concerns …

South Milwaukee Human Concerns (SMHC) received the largest grant awarded by the Eaton Corporation Charitable Fund in southeastern Wisconsin, a $30,000 award that will help the nonprofit food pantry continue its mission of help and hope to thousands of South Milwaukee residents.

The Eaton Corporation Charitable Fund is dedicated to supporting programs that improve the quality of life in communities where the company operates. The global power management solutions company operates a major electrical automation and control plant in South Milwaukee at 2800 9th Avenue.

In a check presentation ceremony August 29 at SMHC, 1029 Milwaukee Avenue, Eaton officials praised the work of SMHC, which served 7,403 unique/unduplicated clients in 2017, including 2,962 children.

“I am so grateful that we could make this happen,” said Denise Arnold, Product Specialist, Power Systems Division at Eaton in South Milwaukee. Arnold, one of 30 SMHC volunteers, said Eaton is proud to support SMHC, an organization that does such important work and fulfills a vital community-wide role.

Largely unique in its charitable philosophy, Eaton Corporation Charitable Fund supports the volunteer work of its employees within its communities of operation; qualifying grant dollars follow the employee’s work to a worthy nonprofit organization.

Deb DeBoer, SMHC director, lauded Eaton’s grant award, saying it will help to sustain the center’s operations, which relies on volunteers and donations and has many on-going expenses.

In addition to its work as a food pantry, SMHC provides used adult and children’s clothing, selected household items and social service referrals. It also offers annual school supply and holiday gift giving programs for children in partnership with area businesses, organizations and faith based groups. SMHC receives no taxpayer funding and began work as a nonprofit 501(c)3 in 1973. All of its services are provided at no cost to its needs-based clients. For more information and to donate visit smhumanconcerns.org.   


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“Rooted in Nature”: Bus Shelter Art Unveiled in Downtown South Milwaukee

Downtown South Milwaukee is more beautiful tonight, thanks to a talented local artist and her very cool, locally inspired design.

I was proud to be part of the unveiling of the latest Milwaukee County Bus Shelter Art Project work on Thursday. “Rooted in Nature,” which now adorns the shelter at 10th and Milwaukee Avenues, was designed by South Milwaukeean Kasia Drake-Hames.

She said the piece is inspired by “the natural features in South Milwaukee, including Grant Park, the beach and the Oak Creek. I would like people to consider our interconnectedness to nature every day.”

This work will definitely inspire that, in the heart of our city.

Drive, walk or bike by and see for yourself. You can’t miss it. It really pops.

In addition to Kasia, I say thank you to the Milwaukee County Transit System for bringing the program to South  Milwaukee, and to Lybra Olbrantz, for helping initiate this countywide program. And to the South Milwaukee Beautification Committee, which judged the more than 20 entries, you made the right call.

Now on to our other bus shelters …

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Open for Nominations: Rocketober Awards, Presented by the South Milwaukee Beautification Committee!


More news from the South Milwaukee Beautification Committee …

The South Milwaukee Beautification Committee has announced its fall awards program, the Rocketober Awards, recognizing those with the best fall, Halloween or Thanksgiving-themed decorations on their homes or businesses.

Winners will be selected to receive a cash prize, a sign, and recognition on the city’s/mayor’s digital platforms. All decorations must be up by October 21st, with judging taking place the week after. 

Entries may be submitted on Facebook, online form, and the SM Works app (available for download on the Apple Store and Google Play Store).



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