2017 top stories in the North Shore

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From construction to crime, readers of our stories covering the North Shore saw it all this year. Here’s a recap of our top 10 stories:


Some Whitefish Bay neighbors are angered by the growing number of “McMansions” that they say are dwarfing neighboring homes throughout the village.

Twelve new homes have been built in the past five years, and eight of those homes were built in the last two years. Additionally, about 20 significant home expansions have occurred in the past two years.

Grafton teacher dies of injuries from crash

A fourth-grade elementary school teacher has died from injuries she suffered in a car crash the day before Thanksgiving.

Jill Ruland, 51, who taught at Grafton Elementary School, was driving west on Highway 60 at about 4 p.m. Nov. 22 near the town of Grafton when a  a 22-year-old Grafton man driving east in a 2010 Jeep Patriot crossed the centerline and struck Ruland’s 2011 Volvo C30 head-on, according to the Ozaukee County Sheriff’s Department.

Flight for Life took Ruland to Froedtert Hospital with serious injuries. She died Monday, Nov. 27.

The end of the ‘ass platter’ 

Homestead High School drama teacher and theater director Amelia Figg-Franzoi was suspended for 10 days over the “ass platter,” a longstanding tradition among theater students. 

Dating back years before Figg-Franzoi’s tenure at the school, the tradition involves a friendly competition among students over the most popular scene during a theater production. The winners get to spank the runners-up with a dinner plate-size metal platter — the “ass platter” — passed down to each successive high school class.

The school suspended Figg-Franzoi and confiscated the platter.

7th-grader dies by suicide in Glendale

Parents, teachers and students at Glen Hills Middle School mourned the loss of 14-year-old Quentin Espinoza, a seventh-grade student who died by suicide on Sunday, Nov. 12.

Fugitives connected to Oklahoma murder arrested in Glendale

Two 17-year-olds from Oklahoma City were arrested March 11 at Motel 6 for their alleged involvement in an Oklahoma murder case.

Eric Juarez and Jalinda Rex were among eight people charged in connection with desecrating the corpse of 34-year-old Dennis Johnson, Jr., who was fatally stabbed in Oklahoma City in 2015. 

From gas for your car to gas for your morning

A neglected, half-built convenience store at 51st Street and Brown Deer Road was to be redeveloped into a Starbucks coffee shop.

Blue’s Egg wants $200K to open in Shorewood

The owners of Blue’s Egg wanted to open a local restaurant in Shorewood, but initially sought a $200,00 grant from the village to do so.

The owners later reduced their request for public financing, instead seeking a $10,000 facade grant and a $45,000 business incentive loan. The owners ultimately abandoned their request for the business incentive loan.

Ruckus opens in Shorewood

After months of enovations, The Ruckus opened in January in Shorewood. 

The restaurant’s owners got a $103,000 grant from the village to demolish a vacant building at 4144 N. Oakland Ave. and turn the narrow lot into a trendy restaurant. with outdoor seating and a fire pit. 

Stabbing victims learn crime doesn’t pay

Two men were stabbed while attempting to steal marijuana from their dealer at his Fox Point home in November. The dealer and his parents are facing drug charges and a battery citation. 

August Weber Haus owners sue city

After their liquor license was revoked, the owners of the August Weber Haus filed suit against the city of Cedarburg, claiming officials acted unlawfully when taking the license.

City officials said they revoked the license because the establishment had been open sporadically and did not meet the minimum number of days open per month. Owners Steven and Diane Banas are asking the courts to reverse the common council’s decision. 


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