News & Notes: Feb. 26

Feb. 26, 2013

District approves HRA rollover for employees

Menomonee Falls - Menomonee Falls School District employees will be allowed to rollover the full amount of any unused 2013 Health Reimbursement Arrangement funds to the 2014 plan year.

The School Board on Monday approved a recommendation from district human resources staff to authorize the rollover, after previously reviewing and discussing the proposal at its Jan. 28 and Feb. 11 meetings.

Human Resources Manager Lori Blodorn said employees will be allowed to carry over 100 percent of unused HRA balances, up to a maximum of three times the annual district contribution to whatever plan they are enrolled in.

For an employee enrolled in the highest deductible single plan, for example, that amount would be $3,000. Once that cap is reached, the district would no longer contribute additional HRA funds until the balance falls below that level.

Board member Faith VanderHorst asked whether the district had an estimate on the number of employees likely to carry over HRA funds and what that would amount to.

"Typically speaking, a large number in any organization will have some HRA balance left over at the end of the year," Blodorn said. "We don't have a ballpark at this point as to what our population would be in the first year."

Early release calendar approved for 2013-14

Menomonee Falls - Beginning next school year, students in the Menomonee Falls School District will be released from school approximately one hour early each Wednesday.

Following several months of discussion, the School Board on Monday took action to adopt the proposed 2013-14 calendar, which includes weekly early release days in order to allow for regular staff discussion around student growth and performance, including analyzing student data, determining progress and planning for intervention and acceleration, as it relates to a shift in performance benchmarks and measurement at the state level.

The calendar also proposes additional working days for staff. Superintendent Patricia Greco said the board will make a final decision on those dates following its March 20 work session on the employee handbook.

Tentatively, new teachers would be required to work three additional days before the school year begins, with two days also reserved for teachers of prekindergarten through fifth grade to conduct student assessments before the start of the school year.

The approved calendar also eliminates half days for students, with the total number of instructional minutes actually increasing slightly.

Provided state law does not change the requirement that the school year begin on or after Sept. 1, Greco has previously said she does not anticipate the calendar recommendations would shift much in future years, which could allow the district to begin developing multiyear calendars.

Germantown seeks additional

fire department personnel

Germantown - The Germantown Fire Department is in need of additional paid-on-call personnel for the hours of 6 p.m. and 6 a.m., said Germantown Village President Dean Wolter during a board meeting Monday.

There is enough support currently; however, to put an ease on scheduling, the Fire Department is looking for additional firefighters and emergency medical technicians.

For information, contact Village Hall at (262) 677-2177 or the Fire Department at (262) 253-7795.

Chamber names its

Citizen of the Year

Germantown - The Germantown Chamber of Commerce named Police Chief Pete Hoell as the Citizen of the Year for all of the work he does in the community, from helping with fundraisers to organizing the Germantown Civic Group.

Village President Dean Wolter made the announcement during the Village Board meeting Monday.

Officer Rechlicz commended

for outstanding service

Germantown - Germantown Police Chief Pete Hoell on Monday presented Police Officer Justin Rechlicz a commendation for the work he has done on the drug unit.

Officers are assigned to the Drug Unit for two years with the possibility of a three-year extension. In January, Rechlicz completed his third year on the unit, assisting in the apprehension of numerous drug dealers in the area, Hoell said.

"We in the law enforcement community are proud to have you as a member in the fight against crime," he said.

Bier Stube to reopen

in Germantown

Germantown - For nearly 20 years, Germantown's Von Rothenburg Bier Stube had been an integral part of the community and paid homage to the area's German heritage. Attracting locals and tourists alike, the venue, W15841 Main Street, was the area's only German restaurant/beer garden.

Beginning this week, new owner Chaz Hastings will bring Von Rothenburg Bier Stube, back to Germantown's Main Street with new services, staff and plans for the future. With a successful track record of operating a number of local businesses including Tally Ho, Madame Belles, Bottoms Up and Milwaukee Harley-Davidson, Hastings and staff look to maintain Bier Stube's classic appeal while adding in new options. Having lived and worked in Germany, Bier Stube's General Manager Josh Neureuther said the group is making every effort to create an authentic, German beer hall experience.

Jana Kohl urges

Kohl's to Go Fur-Free

Menomonee Falls - The Humane Society of the United States and Jana Kohl, granddaughter of the founder of Kohl's, are urging Kohl's Corp. to go fur-free in its department stores.

The HSUS submitted a shareholder resolution asking Kohl's to create a policy clearly stating the company's future plans for banning animal fur sales. Such a policy would help protect Kohl's customers from misleading fur labels and advertisements and move the company away from the inhumane treatment of animals killed for their fur.

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