The past year has been eventful for the North Shore suburbs. Join us as we take a look back at the top 10 North Shore stories of 2016.
More than 1,000 people flooded the west end of Capitol Drive in Shorewood on Halloween night for the first run of the Ghost Train, a multimedia art exhibit that creates the illusion of the discontinued "Twin Cities 400" train passing over its old route on the Oak Leaf Trail pedestrian bridge. The Ghost Train runs every night. When the train is not running, the lights on the bridge will display ambient light shows.
Construction broke ground in June on the Richard E. Maslowski Community Park, which will be located on a former landfill at the far west end of Bender Road. Created in partnership between the city of Glendale and Nicolet High School, the park will feature a community building, outdoor stage and amphitheater, universally-accessible playground, veterans memorial, beer garden, two softball fields and a new baseball field for the Nicolet Knights.
Brown Deer was one of 10 communities in the country to be named an All-America City by the National Civic League in June. Representatives from the Brown Deer School District and village of Brown Deer told the village's story on the national stage at the National Civic League's All-America City conference in Denver on June 17-19. They highlighted three Brown Deer projects: the creation of Badger Meter River Park, the renovation of Brown Deer schools and the school district's award-winning character education program.
After 36 years as Glendale's city administrator, Richard Maslowski retired at the end of August. Maslowski,66, said he realized the importance of enjoying life after he was hospitalized for more than a month due to pneumonia. In his retirement, Maslowski plans to move away to the Chicago area. Rachel Reiss, the city's deputy city administrator, served as interim administrator for three months before the Glendale Common Council promoted her to administrator Nov. 28.
The Fox Point-Bayside School Board in March accepted the Mandel Group's offer to purchase the former Dunwood School property. The Mandel Group proposed building two three-story apartment buildings containing 110 to 115 luxury apartments, as well as eight to 10 two-story townhome apartments. The proposal also includes a two-story, 80-bed memory care facility for people with dementia. The Mandel Group has not yet submitted any development plans to the village of Fox Point
The Glendale Common Council voted in June to ban the keeping of backyard chickens.The city's inspection department had made an informal practice of denying all chicken-keeping applications, but 13 residents asked the council to change that policy and allow chickens. The council passed an ordinance prohibiting the practice. Glendale Mayor Bryan Kennedy vetoed the ordinance, but aldermen maintained the chicken ban in a second vote.
The Milwaukee County Parks Department in March presented its plan to close a portion of the circular roadway at Brown Deer Park to allow for the expansion of the driving range. The closure of the roadway would require pedestrians to walk around the new driving range, bringing them closer to the clubhouse. After hearing negative feedback at a second public meeting, the Milwaukee County Parks Department temporarily suspended plans for the driving range expansion and agreed to follow the guidance of county supervisors Theo Lipscomb and Sequanna Taylor on whether the project should go before the full county board.
The Fox Point-Bayside and Nicolet school districts approved a shared services agreement in April that allows Nicolet Superintendent Robert Kobylski and Nicolet Business Services Director to perform the duties of Fox Point-Bayside's superintendent and business services director, both of whom left the district at the end of June. Kobylski and Dellutri remain employees of Nicolet under the agreement, but Fox Point-Bayside will pay 40 percent of their salaries. Kobylski and Dellutri both received a 20-percent pay increase under the proposed agreement, as they expect their 50-hour weeks to turn into 60-hour weeks.
It felt like "Happy Days" was here again when Henry Winkler stopped into Benji's Deli in Shorewood. Winkler was in town in August for a "Happy Days Live!" event at Wisconsin State Fair. Hanging out around town the day before the show, he stopped for lunch at Benji's, where he sampled a bagel with lox and a pastrami sandwich.
AP art students at Shorewood High School spurred a conversation about Shorewood race relations in late May with a mural that was headlined "Shorewood is progressive," followed by several contradicting statements from black students and alumni. Shorewood School District Superintendent Bryan Davis ordered for the mural to be painted over, but he later apologized to the art students for making that decision. The controversy resulted in an ongoing conversation about race relations with district administration and the school board.