News & Notes: Feb. 27

Feb. 27, 2013

New Brown Deer

schools named

Brown Deer - When the Brown Deer School District opens its two reconfigured schools later this year, they will bear their own names.

The School Board on Monday approved names for the consolidated K-6 building, Brown Deer Elementary School, and the consolidated seventh- through 12th-grade building, Brown Deer Middle/High School.

Though not unexpected names, Superintendent Deb Kerr described them as safe, since some proposals were met with criticism by parents.

"There were concerns over 'upper' and 'lower' and the connotations of those," Kerr said.

District officials expect new illuminated monument signs bearing the new names to be installed by the beginning of the 2013-14 school year.

Resident recognized

for dozen years of service

River Hills - Resident Christopher Soyke was recognized last week by the River Hills Village Board for his dozen years of service on the Building Board.

Soyke, who assumed the position in 2001, has held various positions with the Building Board, including a stint as chairman. The Village Board passed a resolution in his honor.

The Building Board is an appointed body. Members take up a variety of issues, including reviews of proposed buildings and other structures within the village.

Open Enrollment

inquiry ongoing

Brown Deer - Members of the Brown Deer School Board are continuing their search to find out why parents have taken their children outside the district through Open Enrollment.

Board members delivered a brief update on their progress Monday evening, saying that the search has been somewhat hindered by disconnected telephone numbers and a lack of callbacks.

A final report on the subject is expected at the board's March meeting.

Efforts continue

on tree ordinance

River Hills - Members of the village's Committee on the Environment are in the process of drafting an ordinance pertaining to trees in River Hills. The process will include the creation of a new appointed body known as the Tree Commission.

The ordinance will likely touch on a number of issues, including the spacing and types of tree species that can be planted and requirements for pruning and other maintenance.

The ordinance is being created, in part, in an effort to receive Tree City USA designation from the Arbor Day Foundation. Having such an ordinance on the municipal books is a prerequisite for the designation.

Offenders might be able

to pay fines with credit cards

River Hills - With the intent of offering a more streamlined option, the River Hills Village Board is considering adding credit card payments as an option for people paying fines assessed by the Police Department.

The board discussed the proposal last week, which could include an online payment option through the village's website. The advantage of having such a service is the higher likelihood a person will promptly pay a fine.

But there is a drawback - as with any organization accepting credit cards as payment, the village would have to pay fees to credit card companies.

Village Board OK's DPW,

police vehicle purchases

River Hills - The River Hills Village Board last week approved the purchase of two vehicles - one each for the Public Works and Police departments.

Public works staff are purchasing a pickup truck that will be used for an assortment of tasks at a cost of $22,889. Police are adding a 2013 Ford Utility Police Interceptor vehicle to the fleet at a cost of $24,419.

In both instances, the vehicles are replacing older models that have high mileage. The purchases were included in the village's 2013 budget.

New resident representing

River Hills on health board

River Hills - Resident Claudia Altmann will represent River Hills on the board overseeing the North Shore Health Department. She replaces Paula Jones, who is moving out of the community.

Altmann is a doctor specializing in infectious diseases and has experience in public health issues.

Assessment data available online soon

River Hills - The River Hills Village Board last week gave Village Assessor Fred Matthes the authority to provide property assessment data online through Fair Share Valuation, the firm Matthes represents.

While discussing the issue last week, village staff asserted the online data would primarily be used for Realtors looking up property-related information.

The board's action came with a caveat - property owners' names are not to be included in the data.

Cell carriers' leases

being reviewed

River Hills - Lease agreements between the village of River Hills and two cellphone carriers - Verizon Wireless and Sprint - are being reviewed between the two parties.

An update on both lease agreements was provided at last week's Village Board meeting. Sprint's lease agreement with the village dates back to 1996, while Verizon's was enacted in 2007.

Both companies lease equipment in the village's Department of Public Works rail yard at 7650 N. Pheasant Lane.

River Hills' deer herd

estimated at 80

River Hills - About 80 deer are in River Hills, according to a report written recently by Department of Public Works Superintendent Kurt Fredrickson.

In early November, Fredrickson said the DPW began trapping deer for the 2012-13 season. As of mid-February, 69 deer were removed from the village through the method. An additional 11 deer died from car collisions.

Fredrickson said trapping efforts were put on hold in recent weeks because of the weather. The goal, he said, is to trap another five to 10 deer before the season concludes at the beginning of spring.

Library systems discuss possible merger

Manitowoc - The board of trustees from both the Manitowoc-Calumet Library System and the Eastern Shores Library System independently agreed to a formal investigation of a possible merger of the two library systems.

Each separate system represents and serves public libraries in two counties each. The Manitowoc-Calumet Library System serves those two counties, while the Eastern Shores Library System serves Sheboygan and Ozaukee counties. A merger of these two library systems, essentially becoming one, larger system, would be the first of this nature in Wisconsin. As a result, two of the smallest systems would become a combined system ranking sixth largest out of a total of 16 remaining library systems statewide.

The system boards agree that an investigation will be worthwhile to demonstrate how the combination may eliminate an overlap in efforts and possibly expand those efforts to provide additional services to the 19 public libraries and the residents in the four counties. Historically, the two library systems collaborate on projects and providing services to the member libraries. The largest of those is sharing a wide area network which provides Internet access for all affiliated public libraries and system headquarters. The goal of this investigation is to highlight how such a merger may directly benefit the public libraries and patrons.

For question, contact Eastern Shores Library System Interim Director David Weinhold at (920) 208-4900 ext. 312 or email

Nicolet Mock Trial Team takes third in regionals

Glendale - Despite having no previous competition experience, Nicolet's Mock Trial Team took third in regional competition Feb. 9 at the Waukesha County Courthouse.

After losing an extremely close first round to the eventual second-place finisher, the team won its remaining three rounds and tied for third place in a field of 13 teams.

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