Sneak Peek: Bridges Magazine

Check your mailbox for the Autumn edition of “Bridges Magazine,” the newsletter partnership between the City of South Milwaukee and South Milwaukee School District.

The digital version can be read here: https://bit.ly/SMBridgesA2022

Stories include items on the city’s 125th anniversary, profiles of new city staff, updates on Bucyrus Commons construction, honoring Medal of Honor recipient Gary Wetzel, and a business spotlight on American Legion Post #27.

School information includes more on the “Launching a Legacy” capital campaign, profiles of the new principal at Blakewood Elementary and new school resource officers, and an informative look at referendum debt.

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Latest Venture From South Milwaukee’s Kyle Olson: Podcast Exploring the Murder of a Friend

From its website

In the morning hours of October 6, 2009, an intruder broke into the Milwaukee-area home of 19-year old Ashleigh Love, walked to her bedroom, and shot her to death while she was sleeping. More than 13 years have passed since she was killed, and the case is still cold. No suspects have been arrested. No justice has been served.

Love & Justice is an investigative documentary-style podcast that explores the cold case murder mystery of Wisconsin native Ashleigh Love.

In the aftermath of her death, Ashleigh’s parents, siblings, best friends, colleagues, and classmates come together in an attempt to share the full story and set the record straight. No stone is left unturned while dozens of theories are presented in an attempt to answer one simple question: Who Killed Ashleigh Love? Emmy Award Winner Kyle Olson hosts.

Learn more in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. And here is the podcast Facebook page.

And here is more on Kyle, a true local success story who I was honored to work with on telling the South Milwaukee story, via film, prior to the pandemic. Congratulations, Kyle, and thanks for undertaking this important project.

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South Milwaukee Police: Middle School Student Admits to Taking, Distributing Improper Photographs

From the South Milwaukee Police Department …

Regarding: Inappropriate Electronic Use at South Milwaukee Middle School

On October 31, 2022, the South Milwaukee Police Department was called to investigate improper photographs taken at the South Milwaukee Middle School.

The South Milwaukee Police Department did investigate, and a SMMS student did admit to taking and distributing improper photographs.

The student has been referred to the Milwaukee Children’s Court Center on a number of possible charges, including Capturing Intimate Representations Without Consent and Possess/Distribute Intimate Representation Without Consent.

The South Milwaukee Middle School Administration has also taken disciplinary action.

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Happy Halloween! Lots of Spooky Things to do in South Milwaukee in the Next Few Days

Here is a list of what’s up this weekend. Check out the Events page on the blog for regular updates!

  • Friday, October 28: “Tales & Tombstones” tour of the First Congregational Cemetery, led by historian Nels Monson. 6 pm. Details
  • Friday, October 28: Lights on Edgewood Halloween lights show, 1322 Edgewood Ave. 7 p.m. Details
  • Saturday, October 29: Fall Craft and Vendor Fair, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Trinity Lutheran Church. Details
  • Saturday, October 29: Trunk or Treat, presented St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 2 to 4 p.m. A free and safe trick-or-treat zone offering games, candy, fun and food, including historic cemetery tours. Details
  • Saturday, October 29: Lights on Edgewood Halloween lights show, 1322 Edgewood Ave. 6 p.m. (two-hour show). Details
  • Sunday, October 30: Knightwind Ensemble, South Milwaukee PAC. Details
  • Monday, October 31: Official South Milwaukee trick-or-treating, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
  • Monday, October 31: Lights on Edgewood Halloween lights show, 1322 Edgewood Ave. 7 p.m. Details

Local pubs also have Halloween-themed events going on, including parties at The Tap Room on Friday and Moran’s Pub on Saturday. And if you haven’t had time to check out the Moran’s Wizard World pop-up, do yourself a favor and stop in.

And this from the South Milwaukee Police Department …

The official Trick or Treat for South Milwaukee this year falls on Monday, Oct. 31st from 5:30pm to 7:30pm. Sex offenders who are under active supervision have restrictions placed on them during Halloween, which are as follows:

  • No Halloween decorations can be displayed inside or outside of their residence
  • No handing out candy or participating in trick or treat activities
  • No wearing a Halloween costume
  • No turning on their porch light during trick or treating hours

You may view sex offenders in your neighborhood by visiting the Wisconsin Department of Corrections (WI DOC) Website at- http://offender.doc.state.wi.us/public/. Please take the time to read through the conditions of use. Please also keep in mind that only those on active supervision must follow the above restrictions. Just because an offender’s name appears on the website does not mean they are on active supervision. You will not know their status unless you select their name and look for the bolded section titled “Incarceration/Supervision Status”. Random checks may be performed by the South Milwaukee Police Department and DOC Probation and Parole agents to ensure they are complying with these restrictions.

If you have further questions, please look through the WI DOC FAQ section at the above address, or call the South Milwaukee Police Department at 414-768-8060. If you believe a registered sex offender under Active Community Supervision is participating in Halloween activities you can report the information to the SAFE tip phone hotline at 1-877-234-0085 which is answered Monday through Friday between 7:45 AM and 4:30 PM.

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2022 Fall General Election: In-Person Absentee Voting Now Open at South Milwaukee City Hall

In-person absentee voting is now open, through November 4, ahead of the November 8 election.

Find more details on the city website. From the city …

Please note that Wisconsin law requires you to submit a copy of your photo ID to us before we can mail you an absentee ballot.

Anyone planning on being out of town or unable to make it to the polling place on election day can cast an absentee ballot in the Clerk’s office, or request a ballot in writing up until the Thursday before an election. Absentee voting will be conducted in the clerk’s office the two weeks prior to an election.

2022 General Election Important Dates

  • November 3rd – 5:00 PM – Last day for regular and overseas electors to request absentee ballots by mail. 
  • November 4th  – 5:00 PM – Last day to register to vote in the Clerk’s Office.
  • November 4th  – 5:00 PM – Last day for In-Person Absentee voting in the Clerk’s Office.
  • November 4th  – 5:00 PM – Last day for indefinitely confined electors and military electors to request an absentee ballot by mail and hospitalized voter.

In-Person Absentee Voting 

  • Tuesday, October 25th  – Friday,  October 28th  – 7:30 AM – 4:00 PM
  • Monday, October 31st  – Thursday, November 3rd – 7:30 AM – 4:00 PM
  • Friday, November 4th  – 7:30 AM – 5:00 PM 

Note:  There is no absentee voting or voter registration on the Monday prior to election day. 

Who and What Are on the Ballot?

Here is a sample ballot.

Unless you’ve been hiding under the rock at the high school, you know we’ll be choosing the next Wisconsin governor and a United States senator, among several statewide races.

We are also choosing our next representative in the state Assembly and Senate. (I’m all in for Nathan Jurowski and Chris Larson in those races, as you might have guessed.)

Also on the ballot: non-binding referendum questions on “semi-automatic military-style firearms” and marijuana. And you will note South Milwaukee is now a part of the First Congressional District, due to gerrymandering; Republican incumbent Bryan Steil and Democrat Ann Roe are on the ballot.

Sarah and I are proud to support Nathan Jurowski for Assembly.

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Tonight at the PAC: Public Invited to South Milwaukee High School Choir Concert

From the South Milwaukee School District …

The South Milwaukee Choir will hold its first concert of the 2022-23 season tonight at 7 p.m. tonight (Tuesday, October 25) at the Performing Arts Center.

The concert is titled “Unity, Embracing New Beginnings.” It features many solo voices, full choirs, strings, guitars, drums, gumboot dancing, and flute, and even has a guest appearance of School Resource Officer Adam Harnen who will join the choir for the final number. 

Last week South Milwaukee schools celebrated Unity Day, an event that is meant to reinforce an anti-bullying message in schools, and across the nation. This performance carries that theme into music and dance.

And listen to the Concert Choir performing over the PA on Unity Day last week …

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Bicyclist, 71, Dies in South Milwaukee Vehicle Accident

This happened on Thursday, Oct. 19. Please keep this man’s family in your thoughts and prayers.

From the South Milwaukee Police Department …

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Police: Anonymous Call of Active Shooter at South Milwaukee High School Deemed a Hoax; Other Districts Report Similar Incidents

From the South Milwaukee Police Department …

South Milwaukee was from from alone in these anonymous hoaxes this morning. Check out coverage from TMJ4 and WISN.

Parents in South Milwaukee received this message …

Dear Parents and Guardians, 

At 9:40 a.m. all Standard Response Protocol measures were lifted at the High School, Middle School and Rawson Elementary School. Students were not deemed to be in any danger, and the report of a threat to the campus was found to be a hoax. Police will continue a heightened presence at all District schools throughout the day. 

The safety of students and staff is our main priority. Staff and students acted responsibly and quickly when the Lockdown was called.

During a lockdown 

  • Students should remain in the classroom or go into a room as soon as possible
  • Students should move out of sight from any doors or windows.
  • Silence should be maintained and lights should be off
  • Doors should be locked and not opened. When the event is over, staff with keys will unlock doors or an announcement will be made. 
  • Staff members may direct students to not text or use other communication methods during this time. This will be done as needed during emergency situations.

The District performs regular drills to prepare students for when a threat might be identified in one of our buildings, however, it is a stressful event when one is actually initiated. Counselors are available to speak to students about today’s Lockdown and you are encouraged to talk about the incident with your child. 

Please contact your individual school if you have any questions or would like to discuss resources available to your child. 

Thank you to our local police and educators for the work in keeping our kids safe — and taking the utmost precaution in situations like this. It’s scary stuff when your kids text you during the school day talking about a lockdown, as mine did today. I pray for them most of all. Kids shouldn’t have to worry about stuff like this. But they do. And they need to. That makes me sad — and angry.

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Black and Red Turf? Love it! Launching a Legacy Campaign Seeks to Raise $4M for New Football, Baseball and Softball Fields

South Milwaukee’s Launching a Legacy athletics fundraising campaign is officially underway — and the end result will be incredibly striking.

The Football Boosters joined with local businesses and other donors to announce the effort at Friday’s Rocket football game. The goal: Raise funds in support a $4 million project to transform Spaltholz Field and Bucyrus Stadium while also lifting up the baseball and softball programs.

Check out the campaign website and hype video. From the site …

The Launching a Legacy Campaign is an energized effort to enhance the South Milwaukee School District’s sports complex and the City of South Milwaukee by preserving and strengthening one of the great assets in the community. When finished, our playing fields will honor the area’s past while establishing a continuing legacy for the future. Students, community members, and visitors to the city will realize a greater appreciation for events, the legends that have unfolded in these special places. Supporting the Launching a Legacy Campaign will give South Milwaukee students and the community modernized turf fields for decades to come.

The coolest piece is the black and red turf at the venues, making Spaltholz Field perhaps the most unique-looking stadium in the state for high school athletics.

Want to know what it will look like? Check out Bolingbrook High School in Illinois.

From the campaign site …

With striking colors the new Spaltholz Field will stand out among the competition, while underneath an environmentally safe pad and infill will ensure the safety of our soil and waterways. Improved drainage will help our teams get back on the field sooner and mitigate damage from flooding.

The track around the field will be resurfaced and brought up to modern standards and allow the pole vault to return to the stadium.

The stadium facilities around the field are pleasant and modern but are underutilized due to the condition of the field. The installation of the artificial turf in the stadium and other fields (softball/baseball) will completely alleviate the current problem. Once completed, the new field will be available for a variety of community events, educational endeavors, and other school activities.

Additionally, an artificial turf field will also be installed for the upper Softball Diamond, and Galewski Field will be leveled and have artificial infield turf.

The campaign is off to a great start, with more than $200,000 in donations announced on Friday: $100,000 from the Football Boosters; $50,000 from Dr. Bill Pennington; $25,000 from TASC Services; $25,000 from Educators Credit Union; $10,000 from Procter Insurance; and $5,000 from the South Milwaukee Little League.

Now, they need your help! Join the $1,000+ Club and “receive a Club Gold Card etched with your name made by students in the Fab Lab. A Gold Card grants you lifetime entrance to any South Milwaukee regular season home sporting event. Your name will also be prominently displayed at our athletics facility complex, or make your gift a memorial or honorarium.”

There are a number of naming rights opportunities, too.

Donate here. And go Rockets!

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It’s That Time of Year: Fall Leaf Collection in South Milwaukee

More here from the city …

  • Leaves only. Please no yard waste, plants, grass, branches, or garden waste. This material will need to be disposed of at our Self-Deposit Station.
  • Leaf collection crews will pick up piles of leaves one street at a time, in an orderly fashion.
  • Residents who dispose of their leaves directly at the Self-Deposit Station will have the user fee of $3.00 waived from October 1st through November 15th.
  • Fee is waived for leaves only.
  • Do not add to any leaf piles after November 15th. The city may not be able to collect after that date.
  • Leaf collection is weather dependent. Should snow fall before leaf season is over, city trucks will need be to be outfitted with snow removal equipment.
  • Burning leaves is prohibited by local ordinance.

And, most importantly, please consider mulching!

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Headlines: Moran’s Pub Wizardly Transformation and Other South Milwaukee Small Business News

Check out these South Milwaukee headlines …

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Sweet Music in the South Shore This Month

From Linda Ronstadt to John Denver to a cappella — and more — South Milwaukee and the South Shore have something for everyone this month when it comes to live music, starting this weekend.

Friday night, it was the Linda Ronstadt Experience at the South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center. Here is a sampling of what’s coming up the rest of the month, pulled from the blog’s Events page …

  • Sunday, October 16: John Denver Musical Experience, 2 p.m., South Milwaukee PAC. Details
  • Friday, October 22: Rotary Club of Mitchell Field Milwaukappella 2022, 7:30 p.m. concert, Oak Creek Performing Arts and Education Center. Details
  • Thursday, October 27: South Milwaukee 125th Gala at the Bucyrus Club. Music by the Radio Rosies, presented by the South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center. Details
  • Sunday, October 30: Knightwind Ensemble, South Milwaukee PAC. Details

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South Milwaukee Police Exploring Adding K-9 Unit — And You Can Help Make it Happen

From the City of South Milwaukee …

The South Milwaukee Police Department has created an internal committee to implement a K-9 unit. It is the department’s goal to add a K-9 in 2023 or 2024. To fund start-up costs, as well as annual expenses, a 501(c)(3) organization will be created.

At this time, the SMPD is asking the public for help with a $2,500 grant contest sponsored by Aftermath Services LLC. The grant is awarded based on an online public voting process to take place from October 24th through October 31st.

Read the full SMPD press release here: https://bit.ly/SMPDk9announcement

Said South Milwaukee Police Chief William Jessup: “Please join us as we work to enhance public safety in South Milwaukee through the addition of a K-9 unit. We are excited about this opportunity but we need your help to make it possible. Your votes can truly make a difference!”

The grant winners will be announced on November 3rd. Updates on the grant and the K-9 project will be provided through the City’s website and social media platforms. Commitments to support the K-9’s needs have already been made by Oak Creek Veterinary Care Clinic, Walmart, and Farm & Fleet.

And once the department gets around to choosing a dog, I nominate Teddy Brooks for the post. He’s ready to serve!

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Merry Christmas, South Milwaukee! Sign up Now for the 2022 Lions Lighted Christmas Parade

Merry Christmas! Enter your business, team, group or organization now into the annual South Milwaukee Lions Lighted Christmas Parade.

5:30 p.m. | Saturday, November 19, 2022

Route: Parade starts at 15th and Madison Avenue and heads south on 15th to Marion.

Lineup begins at 4:30 p.m. Walkers line up near 15th and Milwaukee Avenues. Others will line up along Madison Avenue, east of 15th Avenue.

ALL PARTICIPANTS MUST BE LIGHTED TO BE IN PARADE. Get creative!

Questions? Please email Erik Brooks at erikbrooks32@gmail.com.

Sign up here, and spread the word!

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Loving The South Milwaukee Library

To me, libraries are an integral part of the fabric of a community — and they are many things to many people. Gone are the days of simply checking out books.

Today, a better question is, “What doesn’t a library do?

So it is with the South Milwaukee Public Library, whose mission “is to enhance the quality of life in South Milwaukee in a welcoming and innovative environment that provides information and ideas for lifelong learning and literacy.”

I continue to be impressed with how library is bringing that mission to life.

See for yourself at a couple upcoming events …

  • Tuesday, October 11: “Our Library: A History of the South Milwaukee Public Library.” Hear the story of how South Milwaukee’s library came to be and how it has adapted over the years to meet the needs of a growing and ever-changing city. The presentation will include rarely seen photographs and artifacts from the library’s past. 6 p.m. Details
  • Monday, October 24: “Getting to Know South Milwaukee’s Digital History Archive.” This introductory class for researchers and history buffs will showcase South Milwaukee’s new and growing digital history archive, teaching users about the resources and how best to utilize them. Details

I especially love the local history work the library is doing. From archiving Bucyrus “Scoop” magazines, to city directories and government publications, to high school yearbooks, to old photos and scrapbooks, the work the library has done to tell our city’s history story is significant — and really impactful.

See its digitized collection here.

The library has also started a new quarterly newsletter. The newsletter will cover a variety of topics including upcoming events, a Library Director’s report, and updates on our local history collection.

Please subscribe here: smlibrary.org/newsletter

Check out the full library calendar here, which includes innovative activities like this …

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