Monthly Archives: February 2011

Units responding to crash in Somers

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At 7:41 a.m., sheriff’s deputies are responding to a report of a crash at Highway H and KR in Somers.

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County under winter weather advisory

Kenosha County is under a winter weather advisory until 6 a.m. Monday.

Conditions overnight could include rain, freezing rain, icing and snow — maybe 1 to 3 inches of accumulation — the National Weather Service says.

Optimist Club’s annual Great Kenosha Pizza Bake-Off coverage

The Kenosha Area Noon Optimist Club’s annual Great Kenosha Pizza Bake-Off took place Sunday evening at the UAW Local 72 headquarters, 3615 Washington Road, Kenosha.

Proceeds from the event benefited the club and the Octagon Club at Tremper High School.

Attendees sampled pizzas served from different vendors and voted for their favorite.  There also was a  panel of celebrity judges that selected a winner in two specialty pizza categories — one for chain restaurants and one for local restaurants. The panel was made up of Chef Tony Mantuano of Kenosha’s Mangia, Kenosha Mayor Keith Bosman, state Rep. John Steinbrink, Boys and Girl Club of Kenosha President Wally Graffen and WLIP Radio Personality Bill Lawrence.

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Units responding to report of crash

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At 12:28 p.m., Kenosha Police are responding to a report of crash at Green Bay Road and 52nd Street (Highway 158), Kenosha.

Dispatch reports that no injuries are being reported at this time.

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Recall Wirch holds rally; Wirch supporters demonstrate outside

Special Olympics Polar Plunge 2011 coverage

Hundreds of warm-blooded souls were freezin’ for a reason at the 2011 Polar Plunge for Special Olympics at Lake Andrea in Pleasant Prairie Saturday.

Plungers collected pledges in exchange for a plunge into the icy water. All the money raised goes to support Special Olympics, including participants throughout Kenosha County. Special Olympics conducts athletic contests and training for individuals with intellectual disabilities.

Here’s some video from the day, including appearances by the Sheriff’s Department team, the Tremper Key Club and the Pleasant Prairie RecPlex Discovery team:

Union Rally in Kenosha coverage

Here’s some video by freelance photographer Mike Gordon of the labor rally held at the UAW headquarters in Kenosha Thursday night:

Barca blasts Assembly quickie GOP vote on budget repair

Photo © taken by and copyright by Jeff Dean

The Republican majority in the state Assembly called an end to debate on the governor’s budget repair bill today and then proceeded to pass it.

State Rep. Peter Barca, the Assembly minority leader who represents  a north side Kenosha district, blasted the move as “contempt … toward democracy.”

Barca’s whole statement is here.

Wisconsin legislators have been clashing for two week over the bill, which among its provisions includes reducing collective bargaining rights for public employees.

Aldermen pass dress code for council meetings

If you like your legislators looking sharp, you might want to give a hand to the Kenosha Common Council.

An ordinance proposed by Alderman David F. Bogdala regarding dress code for members of the Common Council was approved 9 to 7 at Monday’s meeting.

Under the ordinance, all Common Council members are to wear “proper attire.”  For male members, that’s a suit or sportcoat and dress pants, with a shirt and tie. For female members, that’s a dress, pantsuit, skirt with a sweater or blouse, or blazer with dress slacks.  All members’ clothing must be clean, neat and pressed.

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Walker stops in Kenosha and urges Wirch and other Dem senators to return

Gov. Scott Walker made the rounds of the state today — including a stop at Kenosha Airport — to urge 14 Democratic state Senators to return to the Capitol to vote on his budget repair proposal.

Bob Wirch, the Democratic state senator who represents most of Kenosha County, is one of the legislators in Illinois to avoid a quorum call and subsequent vote on Walker’s proposal.

Kenosha County municipalities eligible for blizzard cost assistance

The state has determined that  Kenosha County has exceeded the threshold needed for public assistance for the Ground Hog Day Blizzard, the county’s Emergency Management Office has announced.

This determination means federal reimbursement could be made available to local governmental bodies — county, municipal, schools, some non-profits.

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Effort to force Wirch recall election begins

Dan Hunt (left) addresses a press conference Thursday at the Holiday Inn Express, Pleasant Prairie.

An effort to gather enough signatures of 22nd Senate District residents to force a recall election for state Sen. Robert Wirch has begun.

Dan Hunt, the chairman of recall exploratory committee, announced Thursday afternoon in Wirch’s hometown of Pleasant Prairie that the group has 60 days to gather approximately 18,000 signatures of district residents 18 or older, who may or may not be registered voters.

If enough legitimate signatures are gathered, Wirch would face any other properly filed candidates to retain his seat in a special election.

Wirch is one of 14 state Senate Democrats who are out of state in order to avoid a quorum call and vote on Gov. Scott Walker’s budget repair bill.

Hunt said the recall was driven by Wirch’s “dereliction of duty” in staying away from the Capitol.

Here are some video highlights of Hunt’s press conference:


The 22nd District, which Wirch has represented since 1996, currently includes all of Kenosha, Pleasant Prairie and Somers.


Polar Plunge for Special Olympics is Saturday

People tough enough to brave the icy Wisconsin waters in February — and those who aren’t but still want to support a good cause — will be participating in the Special Olympics Polar Plunge this Saturday, Feb. 26 at Lake Andrea in Pleasant Prairie.

The Polar Plunge is the largest fundraising effort benefiting Special Olympics Wisconsin in the state. Last year, the Pleasant Prairie Polar Plunge raised more than $ 90,000 for local Special Olympics athletes. Participants collect pledges and Plunge into the frigid waters of Wisconsin. All proceeds collected by Plungers benefit local Special Olympics athletes.

Anyone with a little guts and a warm heart wanting to support Special Olympics athletes is welcome to participate. In past years, participants have included 7-year-olds to 70-year-olds, congressmen and mayors, police chiefs and officers, company teams, dogs, mothers, high school clubs, fraternities and everyone in between. And for the more hesitant souls, there is always plenty of room for watching and cheering.

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Snow likely tonight

National Weather Service graphic

More snow is in the forecast for tonight — perhaps as much as 1 to 3 inches, says the National Weather Service.

Then the chance for a variety of precipitation continues through Monday. The greatest possibility is Sunday night, with a 70 percent chance of rain or snow or sleet or a mix thereof.

Wirch on Walker post “Koch” call: We don’t trust him

Sen. Bob Wirch

State Sen. Robert Wirch, the Democrat who represents most of Kenosha County in the State Senate, was quoted extensively in a Huffington Post story on Scott Walker’s phone call with a reporter posing as a well-known ultra-conservative businessman.

Wirch says the phony call was useful in a couple of ways. One, the Democratic senators now know some of the governor’s more sneaky plans for getting Democrats back to the state. The 14 Democrats are in Illinois to avoid a quorum being called to vote on Walker’s budget repair bill that would reduce collective bargaining rights for public employees statewide.

Asked if the 14 Democratic senators are now less likely to trust Walker, Wirch replied, “Yes. In a word, yes.”

Read it all here.

County Board opposes Walker budget plan regarding bargaining

The Kenosha County Board adopted a resolution Tuesday opposing Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal to reduce collective bargaining power for state employees to only wages as a way to address anticipated budget deficits.

The resolution passed 19-9.

The marathon meeting saw a packed audience section and multiple citizens expressing their views. Here’s some video of opinions from citizens at the meeting gathered for by freelance journalist Mike Gordon:

Deal of the Day: $100 Epic Audio gift certificate for half price

Have you heard about our new feature at We call it Deal of the Day and it will offer you great values on goods and services from local businesses.

Here’s how it works. We offer a gift certificate or gift card from a local business for half price of its face value. For example, you get a $50 gift card but only pay $25 for it. Now that’s a deal!

Our offering today is from Epic Audio, 635 58th St., Kenosha,  262-764-0280. Epic Audio’s mission is simple: to provide the best high-fidelity components available at prices designed to fit any budget. They are an authorized dealer for such outstanding audio product lines as PS Audio, Quad, Cambridge Audio, Wadia, Creek, Epos, Music Hall, KEF, Harman-Kardon, Shanling and more.  They also offer the best used gear available, fully-tested and with a 60-day warranty on all pieces except digital players. Owner Craig Swanson would love for you to see — and hear– his store’s equipment. He has a sound solution for every budget. We are offering a $100 gift certificate for $53 ($3 processing fee). The certificate will be valid for six  months from purchase on any merchandise Epic Audio handles. Full description of Deal of the Day conditions is available here. Click the button below to buy the Deal of the Day.

Wirch recall under way

Sen. Bob Wirch

Several media outlets are reporting that state Sen. Bob Wirch, who represents most of Kenosha County, is the subject of a recall effort.

If this proceeds, you might be asked to sign a petition. To get a recall on the ballot, 15,000 signatures would have to be collected within 60 days.

UPDATE 7:57 p.m. — Recall organizers are scheduled to make an announcement about their efforts Thursday.

Bradford student rally for union rights

At about 3:30 p.m., Tuesday, just after the school day, about 30 Bradford High School students along with members of the community and of local unions marched from the school across Washington Road to the UAW Local 72 union hall on Washington Road on Kenosha’s north side.

The idea of the event was to rally for union rights, student organizers said.

Here’s some video shot by freelance journalist Mike Gordon for

Boy Scout Troop to host pancake and porky breakfast

Photo by Alicia Solario via stock.xchng

Boy Scout Troop 525 will be hosting a pancake and porky breakfast, Sunday, Feb. 27, at Trinity Lutheran Church, 7104 39th Ave., Kenosha.

The breakfast will take place from 10 a.m. to noon.

Tickets are $5, with those 3 years old and younger free.

Recount doesn’t change Somers chairman field

Photo by John evans via stock.xchng

A recount of the Somers town chairman primary conducted yesterday has not changed the field for the April 5 election.

Unofficial totals from the Feb. 15 primary showed Larry Harding edging Fred Loomis by just one vote to earn a spot on the ballot along with first place finisher Vernon Wienke.

Harding reports that after the recount he still had a one-vote margin.

Electronic devices policy passes Unified School Board

A new policy designed to allow the uses of cell phone and other personal electronics for approved academic purposes in Kenosha Unifed schools passed the School Board Tuesday.

The policy was approved 5 to 2.

Before the vote, Annie Fredriksson, coordinator of library media and instructional technology, and a team of several other administrators and teachers gave a presentation on the use of mobile devices in the classroom.

“Mobile devices can be disruptive, but they can also contribute to learning,” Fredriksson said.

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Barca: Dems amendments aim to kill — not delay — Walker bill

Peter Barca

State Rep. Peter Barca, who is the Assembly minority leader and represents a northside Kenosha district, wants to clear something up about the intentions of his fellow Democrats now offering amendments to to Gov. Scott Walker’s budget repair bill.

As he said in a press release issued today:

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Opinion: Public employees need to pay more toward benefits

Even drunk hunters know you don’t go into the woods unless you’re wearing orange during deer hunting season, because it makes it easier to see you. So how hard can it be to find a bunch of Democrats wearing bright pumpkin colored shirts that scream they support worker’s rights, while they speed out of town in a Prius?

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Units responding to crash at 75th St. and 22nd Ave.

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At 3:15 p.m., units from the Kenosha Fire and Police departments are responding to a report of a crash at 75th Street and 22nd Avenue.

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Kenosha citizens turnout to meeting to ask council to support “kill the bill”

Over 125 people were in attendance at Monday’s Kenosha Common Council meeting. Seventeen citizens spoke, mostly in regards to Gov. Scott Walker’s budget repair bill that includes reductions in collective bargaining rights for public employees.

Later on in the evening, a resolution by Mayor Keith Bosman and Aldermen Daniel Prozanski Jr., Michael Orth, Tod Ohnstad, Jan Michalski, Rocco LaMacchia and Ray Misner to register the opposition of the city to efforts by the governor and/or the legislature to adversely affect the collective bargaining ability of government employees, was passed unanimously.

Michael Gable, a Kenosha County supervisor, informed everyone of the Kenosha County Board Meeting Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m., where a similar action will be considered.

“Negotiate, don’t dictate,” Gable said.

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Kenosha Common Council passes J.O.B.S. N.O.W. Program

An economic development program designed to allow more private sector job creation and retention was passed by the Kenosha Common Council Monday.

The resolution to create the The Job Opportunities By Several Neighbors Offering Work Program (J.O.B.S. N.O.W. Program) passed by a 12 to 4 vote. The measure was sponsored by Aldermen Anthony Nudo (11th Dist.), David F. Bogdala (17th Dist.), Michael J. Orth (15th Dist.), G. John Ruffolo (4th Dist.), Ray Misner (13th Dist), Steve Bostrom (12th Dist.), Theodore Ruffalo (2nd Dist.), and Jesse Downing (16th Dist.).

The proposed plan creates and retains jobs through lending or granting various unallocated on-hand funds to commercial tenant and property owners for rehabilitation of commercial real estate, so long as jobs are created or retained for a majority of low-to-moderate income persons.

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Kenosha Professional Police Association opposes governor’s budget bill

Photo © taken by and copyright by Jeff Dean

The Kenosha Professional Police Association on Monday announced its opposition to the provisions in the Budget Repair Bill designed to dismantle public employee unions in Wisconsin.

“We appreciate the fact that Governor Walker recognizes the unique work that law enforcement officers do. However the KPPA is unable to stand by while legislation moves forward that undermines the rights of our brothers and sisters in other public employee unions,” Steve Lampada, president of the KPPA said in a statement today. “We work with these public employees every day and cannot support a two-tier collective bargaining system that treats them so different than we are treated.

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Gateway to host motorcycle rider program

Photo by Michal Zacharzewski via stock.xchng

Gateway Technical College is hosting a series of free workshops aimed at providing road users, both drivers and motorcyclists, with useful and accurate tips and information on sharing the road, perception in traffic, group riding and “seasoned” rider motorcycle operation.

Gateway’s Motorcycle Rider program will provide four free motorcycle and driver programs designed to make our roads safer for everyone.

All sessions will be held 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays in March at Gateway’s Horizon Center for Transportation Technology, 4940 88th Ave. For more information or to RSVP, please contact 564-3904 or

Sessions include:

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Boy Scouts to host spaghetti dinner

Boy Scout Troop 505 will host its 11th annual spaghetti dinner and bake sale on Saturday, Feb. 26 from 4 to 7 p.m., at Kenosha Bible Church, 5405 67th St.

Ticket price is $6. Children 3 and under eat free. Carry outs are available.

Tickets are available in advance from troop members or by contacting spaghetti dinner chairperson Sandi at 694-0794.