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Friday News Drop: Brewers, breweries and a new sheriff in town

Westallion Brewing Co. / Milwaukee Brewers /

Milwaukee’s a big city with a lot going on. Catch up before spending your weekend either purposely or accidentally ignoring the news.

County sheriff removes the ‘interim’ tag

Just before lunchtime Friday at the War Memorial Center, Denita R. Ball was formally sworn in as Milwaukee County’s 66th sheriff, bringing with her a pair of long-overdue firsts: first female and first Black female to serve in the office.

Ball carries another well-earned title before her name: doctor. After securing a master’s degree in criminal justice administration from UW-Milwaukee, the Arkansas native completed her doctorate of philosophy in educational leadership from Cardinal Stritch University, which included a dissertation titled “Lethal Force: A Police Officer's Deadly Experience.”

Ball was elected back in August and has served as acting sheriff since October, when Gov. Evers appointed her to complete Earnell R. Lucas’ term following his resignation. Prior to that, her history of service in law enforcement includes:

  • Chief deputy sheriff/undersheriff of the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office since 2019.
  • 2019 graduate of the Department of Homeland Security’s Leadership Academy.
  • 25 years with the Milwaukee Police Department, retiring as a deputy inspector.
  • Organized, implemented and was the first commander of the Neighborhood Task Force.

Warm-up for baseball season begins

Yes, the Packers have a rather significant game coming up Sunday night. But that doesn’t mean we can’t start thinking about tipping back a cold beer on a hot day at American Family Field this summer.

Milwaukee Brewers

The Brewers will serve up one-half of that equation (hint: you can drink it) at an upcoming fan event that’ll feature current and former players, manager Craig Counsell and recently appointed general manager Matt Arnold. “Hot Stove and Cold Brews” will take place a Rowdy Tellez blast from the stadium at Dugout 54 on Wednesday, Jan. 18. The free event starts at 4:30 p.m. and includes interviews from 6-7 p.m., drinks served by Brewers legend Jim Gantner and the team’s broadcasters, and photo opportunities (but no autographs) with the following players:

  • 4:45-5:05 p.m. — Freddy Peralta and Sal Frelick
  • 5:05-5:25 p.m. — Willy Adames and Owen Miller
  • 5:25-5:45 p.m. — Aaron Ashby and Garrett Mitchell

Westallion Brewing taps out

The first craft brewery in West Allis will serve its final beers this Saturday after more than five years in the community. Owners Erik and Kim Dorfner announced the news earlier this week, indicating that the taproom they opened recently in Marinette will be the sole location for Westallion going forward.

If you’d like to drop in for one more beer before the doors close, you can stop by the taproom on South 72nd Street from 4-9 p.m. Friday and 3-9 p.m. Saturday.

What’s black and white and cute all over?

I can’t leave on a bummer note, so let’s turn our attention to this giant heaping helping of adorableness the Milwaukee County Zoo unleashed on us earlier this week:

The little fuzzball doesn’t have a name yet. In fact, zookeepers won’t even be able to determine the sex until it’s between 1 and 3 months old, at which point they’ll be able to figure it out via blood sample.

As indicated in the post, you might catch it toddling around the penguin exhibit near the entrance to the Herb and Nada Mahler Family Aviary. But only until mid-January, when it’ll disappear for a 4- to 6-week crash course in eating on its own and so its waterproof feathers can finish growing in.

You can learn more about the new addition on the Milwaukee County Zoo’s website.