The National Weather Service has a heat advisory in effect from 10 a.m. today until 9 p.m. Thursday.
High temps today could be in the high 90s with heat index readings over 100. Dewpoints in the mid 70s are expected.
Looking out a bit, the forecast does not show any major relief from highs in the high 80s to low 90s and lows in the 70s until Monday when the forecast high is 80 and the forecast low 63.
Polls closed at 8 p.m. in the 22nd State Senate District recall election. At 8:33 p.m., Jonathon Steitz has an early and sizable lead over Fred Ekornaas in the Kenosha County portion of the district — 1118 to 627. Part of the district also is in Racine County.
The winner will go on to face Democratic incumbent Robert Wirch on Aug. 16
UPDATE 8:44 p.m. — Race is much tighter in Racine County: Steitz 655 to Ekornaas 551.
UPDATE 8:58 p.m. — With 23 polls of 95 reporting in Kenosha County, Steitz has 66% to 34% margin over Ekornaas.
UPDATE 9:15 p.m. — With 84 of 95 polls reporting in Kenosha County, Steitz lead at 64% to 36% for whole district.
UPDATE 9:20 p.m. — With 94 of 95 Kenosha County polls reporting, Steitz still maintaining 64% to 36% margin (5,981 to 3,369).
UPDATE 9:23 p.m. — Above numbers now reported as with all 95 Kenosha County polls reporting, but not complete. Steitz winning.
UPDATE 9:26 p.m. — Kenosha County unofficial results complete now. Steitz wins 5,981 to 3,369.
Gov. Scott Walker was in Kenosha Monday to deliver some food to The Shalom Center.
Opponents of the governor turned out at 1 p.m. for a protest organized through social media.
But the governor had changed his schedule and was there and gone by then.
Here’s a video report from freelance videographer Mike Gordon:
At 10:39 a.m., multiple Kenosha Fire Department and police units are responding to Kenosha Harbor for a report of a capsized boat.
Dispatch reports that boat may have had two occupants, one who is back in the boat and one that may still be in the water. Dive team being alerted.
UPDATE 10:41 a.m. — Fire Department command at the scene holding additional units in quarters and having dive team stand down.
UPDATE 10:42 a.m. — Fire Department command confirms that this is a sailing training exercise and not an emergency.
A program that would discount water costs for businesses that create at least 50 new jobs passed the Kenosha Common Council Monday night.
The approval came after discussion about the program.
The program — called the Water Employment Trade or W.E.T. Program — could be used as a tool to recruit new businesses to the city or encourage existing companies to expand.
The measure had 10 sponsors. The vote was 13 to 3.
The program will be paid for by a transfer of $250,000 in city equipment assets to the water utility district.
The vote to send it back passed 10 to 5 at Monday’s Common Council meeting.
The changes, in the works for about six months, were approved earlier in the day by a 3 to 2 vote of the Finance Committee.
Aldermen favoring the approval of the changes now say enough work had been done and it was time to move on with the process.
“I just think this is time to do it,” said Alderperson Todd Ohnstad. “I don’t think this is anything that has been hurried or rushed.”
Opponents contended the ordinance and the form that would need to be filled out to comply with it needed further refinement to clarify what information was needed and what would constitute a violation. Some also questioned whether an enforcement officer or a board should be used to enforce the ordinance.
“Some thought has gone into this, but not a lot,” said Alderperson G. John Ruffalo.
The watch is in effect until midnight.
The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory for Kenosha County in effect until 10 p.m. tonight.
That might not be the last heat advisory you will see this week. Temps are forecast to be at or very near the 90s for highs and 70s for lows through at least Friday.
At 6:33 p.m., Pleasant Prairie Fire and Rescue is responding to a report of a structure fire on 116th Street.
UPDATE 6:38 p.m. — Fire now a box alarm. Additional units (including three tankers) responding to scene from the following fire departments: Somers, Paris, Bristol and Salem. Scene is in the 5200 block of 116th Street.
A salesperson representing an alarm company comes to your door and asks if you have an alarm system for your home. How will you answer that question if you have no alarm? If you answer “No” you have just told a stranger your home may be vulnerable to burglary.
You may not realize the need to know how to identify a door-to-door scam until you understand how easy it can be to fall for one. Con artists use specially developed techniques and well-known psychological effects to get you to act a certain way. People are taken advantage of every day. Some merely lose the money, while others deal with much more serious consequences, such as stolen identities.
Even if you are convinced a door-to-door sales scam could never happen to you, it may be beneficial to know what to look for. A con artist may:
- Be of any age or gender.
- Try to distract you with talk of a competition or contest before mentioning anything about the cost of the product.
- Appeal to your charitable nature. Be wary if a person at your door mentions they are working for a “good cause,” especially if it is one you have not heard before.
- Attempt to gain entry to your home. Train yourself not to let strangers inside.
- Attempt to befriend you. Expect conversation about your likes, interests, and hobbies.
- Not wait around for you to say “yes.” Instead, the paperwork will be completed long before you have even made up your mind.
- Attempt to get you involved in the scam. In this way, you are less likely to report it when you do eventually get taken advantage of.
Some door-to-door salespeople are selling legitimate products and services; however, many are attempting to deceive. An important concept to remember is the salesperson is a stranger. In the event the deal takes a wrong turn, will you be able to locate the person?
If you are considering making a purchase from a salesperson at your door, do not act in haste, request references and the company’s physical address for validation. Wisconsin law requires door-to-door salespeople to disclose their name, the organization they are representing, the products or services they are offering, and the purpose of their visit.
The City of Kenosha requires all door-to-door salespeople to have a peddler’s license. The license must be worn while the person is engaged in selling. Peddlers are also limited to the selling hours of 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. unless a prearranged appointment has been set up.
Wisconsin law gives consumers three days to cancel a door-to-door sales transaction of $25 or more. A salesperson must tell you about your cancellation rights at the time of the sale and provide you with two copies of a cancellation form. One copy is for your records, the other is to send to the seller should you choose to cancel the purchase.
“The three day right to cancel law gives consumers time to reconsider their actions, but refusing to deal with salespeople who are not following the law is still the best way to avoid becoming a victim,” said Janet Jenkins, Administrator of DATCP’s Division of Trade and Consumer Protection.
A door-to-door sales person who does not have a license or does not follow the law is suspicious and should be reported to the police. Making this report, including suspect and vehicle descriptions, may greatly reduce the likelihood of future victims.
To file a consumer complaint regarding questionable door-to-door sales, contact the Bureau of Consumer Protection on the web at www.datcp.state.wi.us; via e-mail at DATCPHotline@wi.go[email protected]; or call the toll-free hotline at 1-800-422-7128.
The topic of the June 30th storm update came up at two city meetings on Monday night. At the Park commissioners meeting, Ron Bursek, retiring director of public works administration, felt the city did a very good job. Between Jeff Warnock, park superintendent, and Ron, they had crews out by 6:30 am the following day. The entire city was assessed for damages in one day using four people. They also made the necessary contacts with contract crews to assist in the clean-up efforts. Citizens appreciated the quick response.
The parade was a top priority, then the fireworks clean-up downtown. There were 250 trees down throughout the city, with between 700 and 800 trees damaged. All of the departments pitched in: Parks, with the Streets Division, the Waste Division, and Water Utility. Warnock said that homes were to be finished up by Tuesday. He encouraged the citizens and alderpersons to “keep looking up,” and to report any weakened trees; another one fell just the other day. Apparently, a farmer has expressed his interest in the root balls for his cattle to eat. The city will have the cost of transport, but the commissioners felt that this was a good recycling idea. Plus, the city can now make its own wood chips! Engineering continues its review of the sidewalks. There is still no total cost estimate for the damages to the city. It was pointed out that FEMA does not cover straight time costs, only overtime. Workers have been putting in fourteen-hour days all last week and over the weekend. Some trees need to come down, and some will be re-planted.
Alderperson Rocco LaMacchia had a question about his underground sprinkling system, which was already installed when he purchased his house. There is an ordinance prohibiting installation of underground sprinklers in parkways; therefore, the city is not responsible for any damage done to these systems.
Alderperson Michael Orth stated that he heard “grumblings” from city residents looking for the county’s help. Also, the Sheriff’s Department was not seen visibly assisting in the clean-up efforts. Bursek stated that we have a mutual aid agreement with the city of Racine, but not with our own county. Alderperson Anthony Kennedy asked if it was a “push or pull system.” “Did we request help, and they didn’t come, or did we not request the help?” No one knew the answer to this question.
Kennedy also raised the idea of having a more aggressive pruning system for the trees, but Bursek stated that that’s very expensive, and it doesn’t help the environment with the carbon dioxide emissions and the retention of water. Therefore, they felt that idea had limited returns. “Hopefully, we’ll not see another storm like that in eighty years,” said Bursek.
At the Public Safety and Welfare Committee meeting later that same evening, chief of police John Morrissey gave an update on the power outage in the Public Safety Building the night of the storm. Power was out from 8:00 pm to 9:00 pm the following night. Generators were used to run dispatch and operations. Phones were in operation, but the computers were down. Morrissey has emergency power outlets and lights in his office. The operations center and the computer room have emergency power.
Morrissey says that he has a huge new generator now under his office. ”Did he feel that they were underpowered?” Morrissey replied in the affirmative. “A bigger issue,” he felt, “was where we lied on Webco’s priority list. It was adjusted shortly thereafter,” he said. Because the main generator kicked in, a fire started. As a result, they had to rip a wall out.
Kennedy asked the chief to provide a “critical operations list,” operations which he felt need to be powered 24/7. “Do we need to rent big truck generators?” he asked. Morrissey felt that critical needs were met. The front counter was dark; there were two women sitting in the dark answering phones. Another critical area was the basement. The garage doors didn’t open obviously; they had to be opened manually. It then became a security issue, because they had to station an officer there. Kennedy merely wanted to make sure that Morrisey had the tools he needed to properly perform his job.
At the 7th District neighborhood meeting held last night at the Boys and Girls Club, residents spoke up about the problems they have been dealing with that just never seem to get fixed. About fifty people were in attendance, along with a contingent of Kenosha police officers. Present were chief of police John Morrissey, crime prevention officers, Jeff Wamboldt and Ron Francis, officers from the gang unit and drug enforcement unit, a lieutenant, and a public information officer. City representatives included city attorney, Ed Antaramian, four Neighborhood Services and Inspections representatives, and city development director, Jeff LaBahn. Only four alderpersons were present, even though all were invited. Those present were Patrick Juliana, Jesse Downing, Steve Bostrom, and Jan Michalski. What the audience heard over and over again is that “we must work together” to take back our neighborhoods, and “keep on calling.” Morrissey said, “Call, and call, and call.”
Residents complained about a whole range of persistent problems: noisy neighbors and loud parties, annoying car stereos with the bass turned up, tall weeds, junk cars in back yards, blight, bad language, drug deals going down right in front of homes, gangs and gang wanna-be’s, gambling, selling clothes out of trunks of cars, dogfighting, etc. The list goes on and on.
Some residents also complained about the kind of service they received when calling into Dispatch. “Too many questions are asked,” residents said repeatedly. “By the time the squad arrives, the drug deal is all over with.” Wamboldt explained that this is part of their training. They are gathering information to protect the safety of the reporting officer. However, if a citizen is receiving rude or indifferent service, then the caller should request to speak to the shift supervisor. Chief of Police John Morrissey informed the group that the dispatchers are contract employees, and he assured everyone that the supervisor of that group would be informed of these issues the very next day. With a new director coming in, possibly some changes could be made. Plus, all calls to Dispatch are taped. If necessary, the tapes can be reviewed. Also, if a citizen is fearful of retaliation as a result of reporting a problem to the police, they can call Crimestoppers. Juliana also offered, “Just call me. I’ll call it in for you.”
Four officers from the gang unit talked about their surveillance efforts and the length of time it takes in order to investigate reported drug crimes. “It’s kind of a crap shoot that we will actually see a drug deal happening and be able to make an arrest. We will watch two or three houses a day, but if there is no suspicious activity that we observe, we can’t do anything.”
The city attorney spoke to the audience as well. “There are 17,000 cases a year that come through our courts. We have four attorneys in our office to handle all of these cases,” Antaramian said. “Everyone is subject to a personnel crunch. We have all of these cases to take care of, plus all of the other city’s legal work, like contracts, etc. Things take time.”
The issue of landlord problems came up repeatedly. Even though there are mostly good, responsible, landlords (several of whom were in the audience) who belong to the Landlord Association, the few who are absentee and/or irresponsible, spoil the reputation of all. Juliana stated that, “back in the 80′s, the ratio of owned to rented homes was 49/51. As home ownership has decreased, the crime rate has increased. As the number of owner-occupied homes has decreased, the non-owner-occupied homes have increased. There are currently nine other districts that are below the 50% level.” One lady suggested publishing the names of the property owners in the paper whenever there is a disturbance reported. She felt it might help to “shame them.” Another option discussed was that the crime prevention officers offer an eight-hour class for landlords, called the “Crime-Free Multi-Housing Program.” One hundred and twenty people have taken the class thus far. Contact Wamboldt or Francis if you’re interested in attending.
LaBahn addressed the group. “The homes in Kenosha are required to be owner-occupied. We are trying to provide better housing and get rid of blight. There will be one more round of homes (six homes) built in the Columbus area. This will be the last of the new single-family homes for the foreseeable future.”
Foreclosures were another topic brought up on more than one occasion. Martha, one of the city inspectors, gave the following information. “NSI can only get involved if there are complaints brought forward. If a home is vacant, open and accessible, we can order it secured. We don’t board up windows unless they’re broken on the first floor. Boarding up a house makes it look vacant. If we don’t board it up, it looks more normal. We have a number of cases that we check monthly. When a bank issues a judgment, there is a redemption period, usually six months for an owner-occupied property. During this time, the house is in limbo; no one is responsible for it. Here is where the city steps up in securing the house, cutting the grass, and shovelling the snow. A special assessment is charged to the property for these services. Then, it takes a month to six weeks to set up a sheriff’s sale. An independent party can purchase the property, or it goes back to the bank. Re-inspection fees are tacked onto the property’s real estate bill, which makes it more difficult for the property to sell.” Issues of garbage or debris outside of homes need to be reported to the Kenosha County Health Department.
The chief and NSI inspectors urged citizens to keep calling. “The squeaky wheel gets the oil. Don’t be shy in calling.” A one-page Kenosha Police Department citizen contact telephone numbers list was copied and distributed. This list is attached here for your convenience: KPD Citizen Contact Telephone Numbers. Please keep it handy in case you need to make a call.
One lady spoke of a card system which was in place years ago. The police department kept cards on file which gave the property owner’s authorization for the police to go in if there was a problem at their property. The police chief didn’t recall anything like that in his twenty years on the force.
Wamboldt and Francis also urged citizens to form neighborhood watch groups. Wamboldt asked how many in the group belonged to neighborhood watch. Only a few raised their hands. He said, “I encourage all of you to belong to a neighborhood watch group. There is strength in numbers. If your area is not conducive to forming a neighborhood watch group, then just call all the time.” Their e-mail address is: [email protected] if you’d like to e-mail them instead.
Wamboldt also mentioned the “broken window” theory. “If small problems are taken care, they don’t blossom into bigger ones. Imagine a tall building with lots of windows. Which one is the hardest to break? The first one. Once one is broken, it makes it easier to break another, and another, and another. Which one is the easiest to break? The last one. All the other ones are already broken.”
Francis encouraged the citizens to call Wamboldt and himself if they didn’t know who else to call. “We handle all kinds of problems. My colleagues behind me will probably cringe when I say this, but we are not always concerned with writing tickets or making arrests. Yes, the ultimate goal is an arrest and prosecution. But, we are a little different than the rest of the police department.”
Francis also mentioned a new piece of legislation which is just now starting to be worked on at the state level. ”It is a ‘Crime-Free Multi-Housing Lease Addendum.’ It is a tool which would become a component of a lease. If there are problems with tenants in one of three areas: gangs, drugs, or prostitution, this addendum would give the landlord the right to evict a tenant after a five-day “right to cure” was provided.” Since this is just in the beginning stages, Francis will keep the group informed as to its progress.
Morrissey urged property owners to start using the Crimestoppers software, which is available on the Kenosha Police Department’s website, to monitor crimes in your property’s vicinity. “This is a good tool to monitor the goings-on in your neighborhood,” he said. The software is available on the Kenosha Police Department’s website, Kenoshapolice.com. Instructions are available on the website.
How can we stop these problems? “If neighbors get together, form neighborhood watch groups, look out for each other, and continue making the calls to the police department, it would go a long way in improving things. We want to get these problems out of our community altogether, not just push them to another area of the city.”
Juliana asked the group if another meeting was desired, and there were affirmative responses. Check back for more information on the date for the next meeting.
At 4:07 p.m., multiple Kenosha Fire Department units are responding to a report of a alarm at the pre-trial center downtown.
Dispatch reports that an alarm is sounding in a pre-trial courtroom, but no flames or smoke are being seen. Evacuation is under way.
“How to Train Your Dragon” (Rated PG), will be screened rain or shine.
Event admission is $5 per person. Admission includes one complimentary soda and box of popcorn. Children ages 6 and under are free. Tickets will be available at the event. Be sure to bring lawn chairs, blankets, flashlights, and bug spray.
Campers may set up tents at 5 p.m. in the designated areas and must leave by 9 a.m. the following morning.
All children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult.
This is wholesome family entertainment. Absolutely no alcoholic beverages will be allowed. Concessions will be available.
DreamWorks Animation’s “How to Train Your Dragon” rolls fire-breathing action, epic adventure and laughs into a captivating and original story. Hiccup is a young Viking who defies tradition when he befriends one of his deadliest foes – a ferocious dragon he calls Toothless. Together, the unlikely heroes must fight against all odds to save both their worlds in this “wonderful good-time hit!” (Gene Shalit, Today).
For information, call 857-1989, Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
POWRi’s Lucas Oil National Midget Series makes its sole journey into Wisconsin this season Saturday, July 16, at Wilmot Raceway and Sunday, July 17 at Angell Park Speedway in Sun Prairie for co-sanctioned events with the Stark Automotive Group/Mid-State Equipment Badger Midget Series.
Season-long leader Nick Knepper has expanded his lead in the POWRi championship over runner-up Brad Loyet to 1,740-1,200, the largest of the season. The Belleville, Ill., driver took a popular hometown victory on July 1 at Belle-Clair Speedway. Knepper’s fifth at Belle-Clair on July 2 was his ninth top-five in 10 features this season. The two-day event was co-sanctioned with Badger. Andrew Felker jumped five positions to third in the points with 1,070 by finishing second on July 1 and fourth on July 2. The 18-year-old from Carl Junction, Mo., has four straight top-fives and six top-fives in nine races. Felker has bounced back from bad weekend in early June when a blown engine left him 23rd in the feature at Brownstown, Ill., and forced him to miss the event the next night at Peoria, Ill. POWRi drivers can drop two events in determining their final points in the championship, but Felker can’t afford any more like those to contend for the championship.
“The blown motor was a really tough break,” Felker said. “We had a stretch there where we struggled just to finish. We’ve been fast all year and hadn’t been able to catch a break. My dad (crew chief Danny Felker) and I have been working hard to get things figured out on the Midget and the season finally turned around.”
This is Felker’s third season driving a Midget. He was seventh in the POWRi championship in 2010.
It will be the fifth event this year co-sanctioned by POWRi and Badger, which is having a 75th Anniversary weekend celebration.
“They’re a great group of guys to run with,” Felker said. “It’s good competition and makes us all better drivers. It makes it harder with that many more good drivers.”
Bubba Altig of Mechanicsburg, Ill., leads the Badger championship over Mike Hess, the POWRi champion in 2005, 466-462. Brad Kuhn of Avon, Ind., has won three of the past four Badger events, including the feature co-sanctioned by POWRi at Belle-Clair on July 2. Kuhn’s other two wins were at Angell Park.
For more information on Wilmot Raceway, visit www.wilmotraceway.com
For more information on POWRi Racing, go to www.POWRi.com.
At 5:27 p.m., Pleasant Prairie Fire and Rescue units are responding to a report of a crash in the 7300 block of Highway 50, Pleasant Prairie.
The scene is in the westbound lanes. There reportedly are injuries.
At 3:35 p.m., Kenosha Fire Department is responding to a report of an overturned boat in the Kenosha Harbor.
Dispatch reports that boat is overturned off of the 5100 block of 6th Avenue. Someone is holding on to boat. Dive team also being called to quarters.
At about 3:33 p.m., Pleasant Prairie Fire Department is responding to a report of wood chips that are smoldering at a park playground in the 8700 block of 104th Avenue.
The Pleasant Prairie Police Department is making notification of the release of convicted sex offender, Terry W. Andrews, into the village.
Andrews was to be moved to a residence in the area of the 12200 block of Sheridan Road in Pleasant Prairie on Tuesday, July 12, after being released from prison on June 21, 2011.
Brighton Dale Links will play host to the 2011 Kenosha County Men’s Open Golf Tournament, July 29 through July 31.
They will kick things off with a shotgun start at 1 p.m. on Friday, July 29, on the White Birch course. On Saturday, July 30, they will shotgun again at 7 a.m. on the Blue Spruce Course. And finally, on Sunday, July 31, they will start at 7 a.m. with straight tee times on the White Birch Course.
At the Public Safety and Welfare meeting held on Monday night, Chief of Police John Morrissey gave the committee a report on the 2011 Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) and the purchases that will be made by both the Kenosha Police Department and the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department as a result of the funding. Historically, the money has been split 60/40 between the two departments, and this year, the same agreement has been reached. The total grant funding for this year is $47,177. Here is a list of items that will be purchased by each department:
Looking for some more video of the June 30 storm in action?
Here’s another great one complete with trees caught toppling:
At tonight’s Public Safety & Welfare Committee meeting, an agenda item had to do with a proposed ordinance entitled, “Cell Phone Use While Driving.” This ordinance was deferred from the June 6th meeting and raised some discussion among the commitee members. The ordinance was sponsored by Alderpersons Daniel Prozanski, Jan Michalski, Lawrence Green, and Michael Orth. Chairman Jesse Downing was excused from the meeting; he was taking care of other city business. Vice Chair Green conducted the meeting.
At 7:58 a.m., the area is under a severe thunderstorm warning — issued by the National Weather Service — until 8:30 a.m.
UPDATE 8:19 a.m. — Traffic signals out at Highway E and 22nd Avenue.
UPDATE 8:21 a.m. — Pleasant Prairie Fire responding to report of an arcing wire in the 11000 block of Green Bay Road.
UPDATE 8:35 a.m. — Wire down is actually on Old Green Bay Road, about the 11200 block. No sparks seen.
UPDATE 8:40 a.m. — Deputy placing portable stop sign at 47th Avenue and Washington Road.
UPDATE 8:44 a.m. — Dispatch tells police officer that We Energies is reporting outage for 20,000 people.
UPDATE 8:52 a.m. — As of latest available radar, worst of storm is over Lake Michigan, but there could be rain for quite a while yet.
UPDATE 9:21 a.m. — Police responding to a report of lightning striking a tree at 77th Street and 20th Avenue. Debris in roadway, but no signs of fire.
UPDATE 9:25 a.m. — Storm related calls seem to have subsided.
At Wednesday night’s Common Council meeting, not quite unanimous approval was given for the city to purchase two new fire trucks. These are costing the city over $1.2 million. The plan is to retire two trucks that are used as reserves now, which are over twenty years old. Alderperson Steve Bostrom questioned whether this was money that was needed to be spent now.
Alderperson Rocco LaMacchia asked the city clerk if these were approved in the budget, and the answer was yes. Also, the Public Safety and Welfare Committee approved the contract 5 to 1, and the Finance Committee also approved the contract 5 to 1. Alderperson Michael Orth begged to differ with Bostrom. “It’s not a lot of money when your house is on fire. Citizens expect the best in fire protection.” Alderperson Jesse Downing found out that the city recently ordered two new rescue units. The old ones had a top speed of 25 mph. He was surprised that they were still in service. “They should have been ordered a long time ago. It takes 8 to 10 months to get them in once they are ordered.”
At Wednesday night’s Common Council meeting, Pazzo’s was approved for its yearly cabaret license after being deferred at the June 20th meeting. The 12 to 3 vote came after much discussion. Dissenting council members were Alderpersons Anthony Nudo, Daniel Prozanski, and Michael Orth.
At last week’s special Common Council meeting, Pazzo’s was granted three one-day cabaret licenses for the holiday weekend, “one of the busiest weekends of the year,” according to their attorney, Michael McTernan. No problems surfaced during this period.