Monthly Archives: May 2011

First Friday event this week at Visitor Information Center

Local residents and travelers alike are invited to First Fridays at the Kenosha Area Convention & Visitors Bureau’s Visitor Information Center at I-94 and Highway 165.

The first Friday of every month (through September), a free open house takes place from noon to 3 p.m. at this center, which serves as the gateway to Wisconsin for countless travelers. Visitors have the opportunity to meet Kenosha Area business and attraction operators; enjoy tasty food samples, coupons and other giveaways; win hotel stays and more prizes; take their photo with Tripp the Tourist to win prizes; and collect information and advice about things to see and do this summer. Expected this month are Wilmot Mountain, Culver’s of Pleasant Prairie, Kenosha Public Museums, Candlewood Suites, and Holiday Inn Express.

The I-94 Visitor Information Center is located at the southeast corner of I-94 and Hwy. 165, at 10519 – 120th Ave. (Exit 347). For more details, call the I-94 Center at (262) 857-7164 or the Downtown Center at (262) 654-7307 or (800) 654-7309. For more information about attractions, events, shopping, dining, lodging, recreation opportunities and more in the Kenosha Area, visit Follow us on Twitter and “Like” us on Facebook to receive updates about events, specials, and more.

On Memorial Day …

Remember those who served and especially those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

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Units responding to crash on I-94

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At 2:04 p.m., Bristol Fire Department and Pleasant Prairie Fire and Rescue are responding to a report of a crash in the 12700 block of I-94.

UPDATE 2:06 p.m. — Dispatch reports that the crash is a rollover and injuries are being reported.

UPDATE about 2:16 p.m. — Newport Fire Department sends back Bristol and Pleasant Prairie units.

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Units responding to tourist center

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At 2:28 p.m., Pleasant Prairie Rescue is responding to the Tourist Information Center at I-94 and Highway 165 in Pleasant Prairie for a patient having chest pains.

CORP & master plan park presentation

At Wednesday’s Board of Park Commissioners meeting, Blake Theisen, a park planner with the SAA Design Group, gave a presentation on the Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (CORP).  He has been evaluating all of the city’s parks for the past year.  Strawberry Park, Petzke Park, Sunrise Park, and Simmon’s Island are four of the parks that are included in the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) for the next ten years. 

Three hundred and fifty Kenosha residents completed an on-line survey stating that they wanted more bike/pet connections throughout the city and more age-appropriate play equipment.   Work has been prioritized for all of Kenosha’s 73 parks.  Theisen recommended that certain projects be done only through grant funding. 

Theisen requested that the Commission take the entire month of June to review the proposal and the CIP.  He will be back around the 4th of July from vacation, and he hopes that the City Council will have approved the project by then.  The work on Petzke and Strawberry Creek parks could start as early as this year.

A word from our sponsors: IRA Outlaw sprints coming to Wilmot Raceway

The earth-shaking, ground pounding, 900 horsepower thunder of The Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprint Series invade the Wilmot Raceway this Saturday night May 28.

Memorial Day weekend and auto racing are synonomous, and this year is no different as Wilmot Raceway offers its’ first special event of the 2011 race season. The best of the Midwest, The IRA Outlaw Sprints are coming to the Kenosha County Fair’s Wilmot Raceway this Saturday night.

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Units responding to report of car fire

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At 3:56 p.m., Somers Fire and Rescue and sheriff’s deputies are responding to a report of a car fire on Green Bay Road just north of Washington Road.

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Police agencies stepping up seatbelt enforcement

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The Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department and Pleasant Prairie Police Department have announced they will increase safety belt enforcement patrols during the annual Click It or Ticket mobilization through June 6. More than 300 law enforcement agencies in Wisconsin are expected to participate in this year’s Click It or Ticket, which is the nation’s largest safety belt enforcement and education campaign.

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Kenosha Community Foundation creates Howard J. Brown Fund

At its May meeting, the Board of Director’s of the Kenosha Community Foundation created a named endowment in honor of Howard J. Brown – a member of the Foundation’s Board of Directors for over 17 years.

The endowment, to be known as the “Howard J. Brown Fund,” was established with contributions received by the foundation since Brown’s passing in April.

The Howard J. Brown Fund, like other named endowments overseen by the Kenosha Community Foundation, is part of the foundation’s unrestricted funds. These funds are invested and the income will be used for grants to charitable organizations in the Kenosha area. Some of the grants awarded will carry the name of Howard J. Brown, along with other named funds. In this way, Howard’s philanthropy will be perpetuated in future years.

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Public Works Committee approves projects and three summer events

At Wednesday evening’s Public Works Committee meeting, the following projects were approved:

♦     A work management/work measurement system with a GPS tracking feature.  Last Wednesday, a special meeting was held wherein the software company answered committee members’ questions.  This system will start being used in August/September of this year.   According to Jan Michalski, this is basically a public works worker tracking device.”  G. John Ruffolo congratulated the Public Works Department for all of their hard work on this project.  Kenosha is the first in the State of Wisconsin to use this system. 

♦     The contract for the Washington Park Velodrome Facility was approved for Rasch Construction in the amount of $374,000.   A new building is part of the project; also, terracing of the hill, additional security lights, steps up the hill, a handicapped ramp, a concession stand and rest rooms, and additional storage.

♦     The Harbor Park Neighborhood Sculpture Walk.  Natalie Strohm spoke on behalf of this project.  They are planning installation of cement foundation pads upon which will stand sculptures donated by local artists.  The pads will be sponsored by a company, business, or organization.  The plan is to have sculptures installed by August 22nd.

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Aldermen draft resolution to create Kenosha only school district

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Kenosha Alderpersons David Bogdala, Anthony Nudo and Steve Bostrom have drafted a resolution to have Kenosha form its own school district.

The trio say they have heard from their constituents about their displeasure with the Kenosha Unified School Board.  They are attempting to give a voice to those concerned citizens through this resolution.

All KUSD School Board members were contacted via e-mail, and the only one to respond thus far was Bob Nuzzo.

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Redistricting Committee holds first meeting

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The Special Leadership Committee met for the first time tonight.  Aldermen David Bogdala and G. John Ruffolo were elected co-chairmen of the Committee.  This committee has been charged with redistricting the city’s aldermanic districts, taking what the County Board supervisors gave as a guideline.  Other members of the committe include Aldermen Jesse Downing, Michael Orth, Daniel Prozanski, Ray Misner, and Anthony Nudo, although Aldermen Downing, Prozanski and Misner were not in attendance at tonight’s meeting.  Mayor Keith Bosman, Jeff LaBahn – city development director, Rich Schroeder – assistant city planner, Mike Higgins -city assessor, Ed Antaramian – city attorney, and Matthew Knight – deputy city attorney, were administrative people in attendance.  Other alderpersons in attendance were Anthony Kennedy, Jan Michalski, Theodore Ruffalo, Katherine Marks, and Rocco LaMacchia.

The committee received a demonstration of the census blocking mapping program by Mike Callovi, planning technician.  There is one log in and password for every village, town, etc., and each plan is password-protected.  The program allows the user to zoom in, click and drag, point and click, and set up ward boundary lines.  The 2010 census numbers are then displayed for that district.  There are a limited number of maps that can be saved by the program.  This is the reason that the Mayor did not want each alderman in the district to have access to this program.  (Please refer to the story below.)

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Alderman Bogdala files public records request

The Common Council voted 16-0 on Monday, May 2nd, to form a special leadership committee that will establish wards and aldermanic districts with regard to the redistricting process of 2011.  Click here to view the previous article:

They have 60 days, beginning last Friday, May 20th, to establish their ward boundaries and develop their own aldermanic district map for presentation to the Council.  In order to facilitate this process, Alderman David Bogdala, 17th District, requested information regarding the census data and relevant statutes.  One of the tools the committee will need is redistricting mapping software.

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Units responding to crash in Pleasant Prairie

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At 10:25 a.m., Pleasant Prairie Fire and Rescue units are responding to a report of crash with injuries at Green Bay Road and 123rd Place, Pleasant Prairie.

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Small craft advisory issued

The National Weather Service has issued a small craft advisory for an area of Lake Michigan that includes the Kenosha shoreline.

The advisory will be in effect from 1 p.m. today until 7 a.m. Friday.

A small craft advisory means that wind speeds of 21 to 33 knots and/or waves of at least 3 to 5 feet are expected to produce hazardous conditions to small craft. Inexperienced mariners — especially those operating smaller vessels — should avoid navigating in these conditions.

Thunderstorms headed this way

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The National Weather Service says there’s a 100 percent chance of at least showers today, but has also issued a short-term forecast calling for thunderstorms to hit the area around 7:30 a.m.

In fact, the storm on the regional radar is large. A farther back radar look suggests thunderstorms could be with us for a while today.

KUSD Board meeting notes

The following are highlights of tonight’s KUSD Board meeting:


Four Lance Middle School students won “A” ratings and gold medals in the American Association of Teachers of French-Concors Orals.  Two hundred and three students participated, and two of the students were present at the meeting to accept their awards.

Scott Lindgren was named the District 7 Athletic Director of the Year.  Bradford Italian teacher, Ralph Anina, received the WisItalia Outstanding Service Award.  Two EBSOLA history teachers, Ann Armeda and Laura Murphy, received the Exemplary Use of Technology Award for their presentations on American history.

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Wilmot Raceway results May 21

What started out as yet another rainy day in Wisconsin turned out to be a great night for racing as despite contrary predictions the skies cleared and the Wilmot Raceway got their 2011 season underway Saturday.

Seventy-five cars representing four divisions took season opening green flags on a very racy Wilmot Raceway surface. When the final checkered flags had waved Wilmot Raceway had Andrew Kiedrowski (Mini-Sprint), Brandon Riedner (Street Stock), Eriik Grosch (Pro-4), and Chris Carlson (Modifieds) visit their Miller Lite Victory Lane, as these drivers were the first to taste victory in 2011 Wilmot Raceway competition.

Here’s some video from the Modified A Main:

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Names in fatal crash released

The Pleasant Prairie Police Department has issued the following statement regarding a fatal auto crash from Sunday:

Pleasant Prairie Police have released the names of the driver and passenger in a fatal accident that occurred early Sunday morning. Police were notified of the crash at 1:24 a.m.

Adam P. Barlow, 29 of Kenosha was killed, when the 2005 Chrysler four door he was driving failed to negotiate a curve and rolled over in the 9900 block of Old Green Bay Road in the Village of Pleasant Prairie. Barlow was dead at the scene.

Injured in the accident was a passenger, Matthew R. Nigro, 29 of Pleasant Prairie. Nigro’s injuries were not believed to be life threatening.

A complete technical reconstruction of this crash is underway and the investigation continues.

Severe thunderstorm warning issued

At 7:28 p.m, a severe thunderstorm warning has been issued by the National Weather Service for an area that includes Kenosha County.

The warning is in effect until 8:15 p.m.

The storm moving in from the west at about 65 mph is expected to be near Kenosha Airport around 7:50 p.m. and downtown around 7:55 p.m.

UPDATE 8:01 p.m. — Tree reported down in the 4500 block of Highway L, Somers.

UPDATE 8:07 p.m. — Police officer reports tree down in 4700 block of 20th Avenue, blocking the road.

UPDATE 8:18 p.m. — Severe thunderstorm warning has expired. Tornado watch continues until 10 p.m.

Tornado watch issued for county

At 2:05 p.m., the National Weather Service has issued a tornado watch for Kenosha County and 35 other Wisconsin counties.

The watch is in effect until 10 p.m.

Man killed in crash in Pleasant Prairie

One man was killed and another injured in an early Sunday morning crash in Pleasant Prairie along Old Green Bay Road.

Police originally responded to a report of a wire down at about 1:30 a.m., but then found the heavily damaged vehicle in a grassy area between Green Bay Road and Old Green Bay Road. One victim was apparently thrown from the vehicle. The other had to be freed from the vehicle.

UPDATE 12:38 p.m. — The Pleasant Prairie Police issued the following statement regarding this crash (photos also after the jump):
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Young Leaders in Kenosha to hold installation breakfast

What do bowling for charity, a cocktail party featuring a young entrepreneur’s talk and a business executive breakfast series have in common?

In May alone, it’s Y-Link, which stands for “Young Leaders in Kenosha.” The burgeoning non-profit group has grown to about 125 professionals, including emerging leaders and relative newcomers to Kenosha.

The group was formed in 2009 as a partnership between the Kenosha Area Business Alliance, the Kenosha Area Chamber of Commerce and the United Way of Kenosha County. One of the group’s overarching goals, in alignment with KABA’s strategic plan, is to attract, retain and engage young talent.

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Four KABA members honored in Madison for excellence

Some six weeks after receiving word that they were among 33 businesses selected as Wisconsin Companies to Watch, four members of Kenosha Area Business Alliance  gathered recently at the ceremony honoring their excellence.

Centrisys Corporation, Equity Creative, Regulatory Compliance Associates and Xten Industries were honored on May 5 in Madison by the Wisconsin Entrepreneur Network and the Wisconsin Department of Commerce.

As in the past, KABA was a sponsor of the annual awards program, developed by the Edward Lowe Foundation and which puts the spotlight on second-stage companies that demonstrate high performance in the marketplace, exhibit innovative products, services or processes, or otherwise make their company “worth watching.”

The Edward Lowe Foundation broadly defines a ‘second-stage’ company as one that has 10 to 99 employees, between $1 million and $99 million in revenue and has moved beyond its start-up phase and is entering a period of significant growth.

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A word from our sponsors: Wilmot Raceway video

Ever wonder what the action looks like at Wilmot Raceway?

Take a look at this video to find out:

For more information on Wilmot Raceway at the Kenosha County Fairgrounds, where there is racing ever Saturday night, check out

Steitz announces Senate run

Jonathan Steitz has added his name to the people who will run against state Sen. Robert Wirch in a recall election.

Steitz, a local attorney , made the official announcement of his candidacy Wednesday at a press conference in Pleasant Prairie.

Here’s some video of the announcement:

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Students participate in Law Day activities


The essay finalists pose for a photo in the Assembly chamber during their visit to Madison. /Submitted photo

State Rep. Samantha Kerkman (R-Randall), representing the Kenosha County legislative delegation, participated in the annual Kenosha County Law Day at the State Capitol. The event is held each year to provide students with the opportunity to learn more about law enforcement, and local and state government.

Sponsored by the Kenosha County Council of the American Legion and organized by Deputy Ray Rowe of the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department, Officer Dennis Walsh of the Kenosha Police Department, Commander Dennis Hackeloer of the Kenosha County Council of the American Legion, and local school teachers, the event kicked off at the Kenosha County Administrative building on Monday, May 3. During that time, participating students were given the opportunity to witness the proceedings of an actual court case, tour the 911 center, and meet local government officials. The event also included a canine demonstration and a crime scene investigation demonstration. The American Legion Post 21 provided a lunch to the students.

Each year, Kenosha County Law Day includes an essay writing competition in which students write about a featured topic. The topic chosen for this year was “If I Could Change a Law,” and the finalists of the competition were rewarded with a trip to the State Capitol. During their Capitol visit, the finalists were given a private tour by Rep. Kerkman, who also provided a more in-depth discussion about how state government works and posed for pictures with the group. Rep. Kerkman then joined the group for a lunch sponsored by Pete Wasilevich, owner of the Kenosha area Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants.

The winner of this year’s competition is John F. Holeman. In his winning essay, Holeman wrote, “The law I would like to change is the tolerance of disrespect and desecration of our flag under the First Amendment. Additionally, I want to introduce the consideration of a penalty which is punishable under treasonous acts against our country.”

The history of Law Day dates back to the Boston Massacre trials of 1770, when John Adams defended a British officer and soldiers charged with shooting into a crowd of protestors and killing five of them. His role in the trials serves as a lawyerly exemplar of adherence to both the rule of law and the defense of the rights of those accused. Recognizing Law Day encompasses a renewal of the understanding of and appreciation for the fundamental principle of the rule of law.

Rep. Kerkman would like to thank Deputy Rowe, Officer Walsh, and the Kenosha County Council of the American Legion for their efforts in making Kenosha County Law Day 2011 a success.

Emergency crews conducting drill

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If at about 4:45 p.m. or so you are seeing a lot of emergency response from fire departments — especially heading in the direction of Highways 31 and A — it is likely related to a drill being conducted at Petrifying Springs County Park.

The drill is a full-scale exercise that will test the ability of area departments to work together to manage a hazardous materials incident, according to a press release from the Sheriff’s Department.

Fire departments from throughout the county are participating.

Wilmot Raceway to host Family Night this Saturday

The Kenosha County Fair’s Wilmot Raceway offers Family Night this Saturday, May 21.

Adult grandstand admission is just $10, and kids 11 and under are free. Wilmot Raceway has some of the best weekly competition in the midwest as the Don’s Auto & Machine Modifieds, RA Adams Enterprises Street Stocks, Fec’s Place Mini-Sprints, Hawg Heaven Fearless 4’s, and the Massive Speed Pro 4’s take on Wilmot’s third-mile clay oval. Over 80 race cars are expected.

Pit gates open at 2 p.m. this week, with grandstand gates opening at 5 p.m. Driver’s meeting is set for 5:15 p.m.

With last week’s racing action cancelled due to weather, Opening Night at Wilmot Raceway is this Saturday night featuring Mods, Streets, Mini-Sprints, and Fearless & Pro 4’s.

Next Saturday, May 28, will mark the first visit of the Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprints to Wilmot Raceway.

And don’t forget to see motorcycle racing legend Chris Carr and the AMA All-Star Flat Track Series on Saturday, June 4.

More info on Wilmot Raceway is at

Pleasant Prairie Plan Commission OKs site and operational plans

The Pleasant Prairie Plan Commission recently considered and approved Site and Operational Plans for four separate business interests: