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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Saturday, April 19, 2014

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The 2013 WIAA Girls Soccer State Tournament was at Uihlein Soccer Park in Milwaukee.
The 2013 WIAA Girls Soccer State Tournament was at Uihlein Soccer Park in Milwaukee. (Photo: Steve Kabelowsky)

Back to sports roots with soccer tournament

A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to do something I haven’t done for more than 15 years. For a few of the high school athletes I interacted with, that was before they were born …  or when they were only toddlers.

As a last-minute need arose, I was tapped to be the PA announcer for a number of games at the 2013 WIAA Girls Soccer State Tournament at Uihlein Soccer Park on the city’s northwest side. In high school and college I worked the PA for basketball and football games, so I had a little knowledge of doing starting lineups and giving credit when points were scored.

But, I have to admit, I was pretty rusty for the Division 1 quarterfinal game, the first played during the three-day tournament. With the help of Allison, Ann and Mike (King of Milwaukee Wave fame) from the Milwaukee Kickers Soccer Club in the booth with me, I found a groove by the time I hit the Division 2 and 3 semifinal matches.

Despite covering high school soccer when I worked in newspapers years ago, and doing the sideline reporting and color commentary for three seasons of high school football games on WAUK-AM 540 ESPN here in Milwaukee, that experience didn’t prepare me for the PA work. Sure, I had to be comfortable with my voice and pronouncing names on a microphone, but the rhythm of the unlimited substitutions took a while to get down. I don’t think I ever mastered it.

For instance, the Ozaukee Warriors had a Yanke and two players with the last name of Janke on the squad. And Yanke would sub out for a Janke and vice versa. Then there was the team from Ashland that traveled for six hours to get to Milwaukee for its Division 2 game against Catholic Memorial. I don’t think I ever got the Oredockers’ Molly Kovala’s name right on the speaker.

But overall, it was a great time and it took me back to my early sports roots. Thank you to Tammy Gilpin-Ripp, the WIAA and the Milwaukee Kickers Soccer Club for the opportunity.

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Shelby Croft, reporter and anchor at WISN-TV Ch. 12, will be leaving the sation in August.
Shelby Croft, reporter and anchor at WISN-TV Ch. 12, will be leaving the sation in August. (Photo: Andy Tarnoff)

Shelby Croft, Luke Sampe leaving WISN-TV

Reporter and anchor Shelby Croft will be leaving WISN-TV Ch. 12 later this summer for a post in Columbus, Ohio. The move puts the Michigan native closer to family.

Meteorologist Luke Sampe will also be moving on, heading north to Green Bay to fill a vacancy at the CBS affiliate, WFRV-TV Ch. 5.

"Luke will be leaving our team at the end of July. Shelby leaves the first week of August," said Christopher Gegg, news director at WISN.

The moves will change the staffers on the desk for the station’s weekend evening newscasts. Croft has been the main anchor on weekends after Mike Miller retired in 2010.

For those area viewers to travel up north, it may be refreshing to see a familiar face on in the Green Bay market. Sampe is stepping in for Tom Mahoney, who retired earlier this month after delivering forecasts for decades.

Mahoney suffered a minor stroke last year, but wanted to stay on through the main sweeps periods and help during the transition. In an interview on WHBY-AM 1150 in Appleton, Mahoney also shared that his planning for retirement involved financial and insurance considerations.

The stations in the Green Bay market cover a large part of the state and most of Michigan’s U.P. Basically, it's everything north of Fond du Lac and east of Wausau.

Earlier this year, OnMilwaukee’s Andy Tarnoff conducted a "Milwaukee Talks" interview with Croft. You can read it here.

Melissa McCrady, a reporter and anchor at WTMJ-TV Ch. 4, is leaving the station at the end of the month.
Melissa McCrady, a reporter and anchor at WTMJ-TV Ch. 4, is leaving the station at the end of the month. (Photo: Mark Was)

Melissa McCrady leaving Ch. 4

After spending time reporting and at the anchor desk, Melissa McCrady will leave WTMJ-TV Ch. 4 at the end of the month.

"I moved to Milwaukee seven years ago for this job at Today's TMJ4. I thought I'd stay for my three-year contract, then move on to a bigger TV market. Instead, I fell in love with Milwaukee and a Wisconsin guy, now this is home, but it's time for a career change," McCrady said.

Starting in July, McCrady will be working for the Mequon-Thiensville School District.

"I am so excited about my new opportunity as director of communications for Mequon-Thiensville School District. It's such a well-respected, high performing district that I look forward to joining the MTSD team," she said.

McCrady’s last day at Ch. 4 is June 28.

"Melissa has done an extraordinary job for us the last seven years. She has been tireless, upbeat, and a great asset. We will miss her," Bill Bera, the vice president of news at the Journal Broadcast Group, shared via email.

Like most reporters, her stories appeared in different newscasts, but most of McCrady's work shifts started before the sun rose in Milwaukee.

"I am going to miss the people at TMJ4, especially Vince Vitrano and Susan Kim. We have worked together as a team for 5-plus years on 'Live at Daybreak.' They've taught me so much and are true professionals," McCrady said.

McCrady said that the early mornings started to conflict with the work schedule of her fiancé, who is an attorney with Michael Best & Friedrich.

"I will not miss my 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. wake up calls. I chose to work this morning shift, but it really started to take a toll on me as well as my relationship with my fiance. We're getting married in two months and we want to have more time together," she said.

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DIY network didn't renew "Made In Milwaukee" for a second season.
DIY network didn't renew "Made In Milwaukee" for a second season.

No second season of DIY's "Made in Milwaukee"

According to the crew at Flux Design in Milwaukee, its half-hour reality program on the DIY Network isn’t moving ahead with a second season.

On "Made in Milwaukee" Jeremy Shamrowicz – aka Sham on the show – and his crew from Flux Design helped area homeowners by renovating rooms or spaces around the house. The first-run of episodes ran at 10 p.m. on Friday nights.

Fans were told of the lack of a green light on Facebook on Thursday evening.

"Sad news for "Made In Milwaukee" will not be up for renewal of a second season-at this time," the post read. "We are grateful to DIY for giving us an amazing opportunity. We are also grateful to our amazing fans."

When I wrote about the show in March, Shamrowicz said he was uncertain of the show’s fate, that the network wanted to look at the ratings after all the shows aired.

But, as we’ve seen with other shows, there is always a chance of a return to the airwaves.

"Continue to post on DIY's Facebook page that we will be missed! Who knows what can change or if something else can come out of this. We had a lot of fun on this amazing ride," Flux Design posted on the Facebook fan page.

"Hope to receive your continued support as Milwaukee is truly an amazing city with so much talent! Flux Design is super busy so see you all around town!"