Monthly Archives: September 2011

Alderperson Ray Misner announces his mayoral candidacy

Ray Misner

At a fundraising party held Thursday evening at Twisted Cuisine, Alderperson Ray Misner announced his mayoral candidacy.  The writer conducted an hour-long phone interview with Misner, and here’s what he had to say:

Question:  What concerns led to this decision?  Answer:  “It was not an easy decision to make to run for mayor.  I was hoping that there would be a candidate step forward that I could put my trust and faith behind.  There are a few people who would do a wonderful job, who would not have difficulty running and managing the city.”

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Daybreak currently has openings

Daybreak, a program of the Kenosha Area Family and Aging Services Inc. (KAFASI),  currently has openings.

Daybreak is a social activity program for adults in the early to middle stages of Alzheimer’s disease, or a related memory disorder. This program provides much needed respite for caregivers, while allowing their loved ones to participate in activities and develop new friendships.

If you or someone you know is caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease, and would like additional information about the Daybreak program, please don’t hesitate to contact KAFASI at 262-657-8089 or visit their website at: There are three program sites: Kenosha, Bristol, and Twin Lakes.

Flu vaccine now available from county Health Dept.

The Kenosha County Division of  Health will now be offering the annual flu vaccine at their “Nurse of the Day” locations.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Kenosha County Division of Health recommends an annual flu vaccine for everyone six months and older as the single best way to protect against influenza.

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Wind advisory issued

The National Weather Service has issued a wind advisory for an area of Wisconsin that includes Kenosha County for today starting at 3 p.m. and lasting until 7 a.m. Friday.

Winds at 20 to 30 mph are expected with gusts as high as 45 to 50 mph.

There’s also a 50 percent chance of more rain today and tonight.

Public Works committee meeting re-cap

Photo by David Ritter via stock.xchng

The Public Works Committee met earlier this afternoon.  Here is a run-down of the meeting’s approvals/deferrals:

  • Both requests to pave lawn park two areas on the east side of 39th Avenue were approved unanimously.  These came from Chiappetta’s Shoe Store and Principe Development.
  • The committee voted to accept Project 10-1017, 39th Avenue Reconstruction, which was satisfactorily completed by Payne & Dolan, Inc., in the amount of $1,401,112.51.

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Gas station, convenience store conversion gets Pleasant Prairie Plan Commission OK

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Site and Operational Plans were approved at a meeting Monday of the Pleasant Prairie Plan Commission for the conversion of an existing gas and convenience store into a liquor and cigar store.

Ayra’s Gasoline and Convenience Store, located at 4417 – 75 th St. (Highway 50) will be converted to a liquor and cigar store. The new retail store will sell liquor, beer, soda, packaged snacks, and tobacco items. Business owners will modify the interior of the existing 2,755 square foot building at the .82-acre site and will remove gasoline pumps and tanks and a canopy to accommodate the conversion. Exterior landscaping and parking areas will be created, and a new monument sign will be placed on the property.

“We wish Ayra’s the best with their new business plan,” commented Jean Werbie-Harris, community development director for the Village. “We look forward to seeing their improvements come to fruition and wish them success in their new business.”

Work is expected to begin as soon as possible and to be complete by the end of the year. Upon reopening, Ayra’s is expected to employ one full-time and six part-time employees. Proposed hours of operation are Monday through Sunday from 8 a.m. until 11 p.m.

Access to Ayra’s will be made from both 75th Street and 45th Avenue.

County Detention Center death being investigated

The Tuesday death of a man being held at the Kenosha County Detention Center is being investigated by a neighboring county’s sheriff’s department.

From a statement released through Sgt. Bill Beth, Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department spokesman:
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Dr. Michele Hancock announces a bit of good news

At tonight’s KUSD Board meeting, Dr. Michele Hancock, Superintendent, addressed the Board and approximately 125 people in the audience.  First of all, she reported about the news that just hit tonight.  The Security Exchange Commission took action against the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), who has agreed to pay $30.4 million to settle federal civil charges of misleading five Wisconsin school districts that lost $200 million invested in risky securities.  The KUSD was one of those school districts.  Click here for the entire story, as reported by CBS News:

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Lynch gets go ahead from planners for new dealership in Pleasant Prairie

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Site and Operational Plans were approved for Lynch Chevrolet to construct a new Chevrolet sales and service center in Pleasant Prairie, during a Plan Commission meeting Monday.

The new dealership will be located south of Highway 50 in approximately the 10800 block.

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Units responding to crash

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At 4:12 p.m., Kenosha police and fire units are responding to a report of a crash at 35th Street and 30th Avenue, in Kenosha.

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Proposed ordinances regarding demolition and razing approved

At Monday night’s Public Safety & Welfare meeting, city attorney Ed Antaramian explained the two ordinances that were ultimately unanimously approved by the committee.  These were proposed due to the old Chrysler engine plant.

One ordinance had to do with non-structural demolition.  Antaramian explained that an ordinance is already in place which regulates the scrapping of vacant buildings. 

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Units responding to middle school

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At 10:58 a.m., Kenosha Fire and Rescue units are responding to a call at Bullen Middle School, 2804 – 39th Ave., Kenosha.

Dispatch says the call is for a 30-year-old male teacher who is unconscious, but breathing.

Tow truck ordinance revamp being proposed

At this morning’s Licensing & Permit Committee meeting, Chairman Ray Misner is proposing that all tow companies will soon need to be licensed to operate in the city of Kenosha.  Misner stated that this item was on this morning’s agenda because “it’s the next phase of things.  First, we worked on a public passenger ordinance, then a taxi ordinance, because there were many issues with taxi cab companies.”  Misner stated that he felt that taxi cab companies needed serious changes. 

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Units responding to crash at Highway 50 and 31

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At 4:25 p.m., Kenosha police and fire units are responding to a report of a crash at Highways 50 (75th Street) and 31 (Green Bay Road).

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Council approves street sub-names ordinance

After a lengthy discussion back and forth, the City Council approved on Monday night the proposed ordinance to allow citizens to request the city to name a street with a second, honorary name for up to three years, paid for by the citizen making the request.

Alderperson Jan Michalski moved to restore the language to its original form.  The back and forth discussion centered around the City Plan Commission’s authority. 

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Safety Fair coverage

Paris Fire and Rescue firefighters show how they free someone trapped in a vehicle, a process called extrication. /Earlene Frederick photo

A safety fair was held Saturday in the parking lot of the Wal-Mart in Somers.

Participating law enforcement agencies and fire departments performed several demonstrations and provided safety information for those who attended.
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2012 HOME program description approved


This past Thursday, the HOME Program Commission met to discuss the 2012 HOME Program Description.  The city intends to use its 2012 fund for program administration and for eligible HOME program activities, as outlined below.  They have decided not to use any of their available funding for tenant-based rental assistance, as this is already available through the Kenosha Housing Authority.  The total amount of anticipated 2012 HOME Program Entitlement and Program Income Funds (2012 funds based on the 2011 allocation) is $464,881.  The city must match 25% of the grant, which would be $104,598.23.

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From the Kenosha PD: Be ready to answer important questions when calling 911

This is the latest in a series of articles that will regularly appear on from Kenosha Police Department Crime Prevention Unit Officers Jeff Wamboldt and Ron Francis:

“911, what’s your emergency?” is commonly the response when a citizen dials 911. The telecommunicator answering the call will immediately follow-up with several more questions designed to ensure the proper assistance is sent to where it is needed. These questions provide valuable safety information to the responding personnel and ultimately help to bring criminals to justice. A caller that remains calm and answers the questions will save time, potentially saving lives and property from harm.

“The 911 emergency system serves an important purpose in the preservation of life and property. “If a person is unsure an emergency call is necessary, they should err on the side of caution and call 911,” said Josh Nelson, joint services manager. “Do not call 911 for general inquiries or to report non-emergencies, as this could potentially delay the response for a real emergency.”

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Redevelopment authority trying to operate with little funding


The Redevelopment Authority of the City of Kenosha met this past Tuesday night.  A foreclosed four-plex was found on 37th Avenue, and the city requested a check for $10,000 to put down as earnest money on this property, whose purchase price is $70,000. 

Charles Labanowsky, who has five properties to sell, was present and spoke on behalf of his partners and himself.  He said, “There is a whole array of visions in this town,” and he mentioned the YMCA, the Boys and Girls Club, the Kenosha Area Soccer League, the Market, the Museums.  He stated that he and his partners are flexible and would be willing to work with the city and stagger the sales of the properties, if that would help the city.  “Having an entire block would be of benefit to the city,” he said.  Labanowsky stated that the last property he sold to the city went for $145,000.  The next one could go for $135,000, which is $10,000 less than the assessed value. 

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Wal-Mart applies for conditional use permits

REUTERS/John Gress

Towards the end of the City Plan Commission meeting on Thursday, Jeff LaBahn, city development director, gave an update on Wal-Mart.  LaBahn reported that Wal-Mart has applied for conditional use permits for both sites.  A preliminary staff review finds that required supplemental information hasn’t yet been submitted.  Therefore, neither of the applications will advance through the public hearing process until the additional information is submitted.  LaBahn said that he can’t project when the process would start.  The pieces that are missing are traffic impact studies and economic impact analyses.

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Fire department re-inspection fees approved

At Monday night’s City Council meeting, an agenda item had to do with annual fire prevention inspection fees.  

Two weeks ago, the City Council had asked the fire department for inspection data.  Chief John Thomsen provided the data consisting of the average number of inspections and time spent on calls.  Average dollar amounts were provided for medical units, fire engines, and trucks.  For example, the cost for an engine company to be dispatched would be $85.  A medical unit would be cheaper than a truck company.  More likely than not, three employees accompany a dispatched vehicle. 

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Wilmot Raceway wraps up season with sprint car spectacular this week

The Wilmot Raceway will host their biggest open wheel show of the season this Saturday night, Sept. 24, as three divisions of sprint cars will go at it on the banked third-mile clay.

The Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprint Series will headline the event as the best regional teams from throughout the upper-Midwest will be on hand. Joining IRA will be the Midwest SprintCar Association 360 Sprints, and Wilmot’s own 1200cc Mini Sprints. Over 80 cars are expected.

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Units responding for crash in Somers

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At 11:46 a.m., sheriff’s deputies and Somers Fire and Rescue are responding to a report of a crash at Green Bay Road and Washington Road, Somers.

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Brookstone Homes agreement amended

On Monday night, the Finance Committee and the City Council approved an amended agreement between the city of Kenosha and Brookstone Homes, Inc.  The Finance Committee’s vote was unanimous (5 to 0), and the City Council’s vote was approved by a vote of 13 to 2 (Alderpersons Patrick Juliana and Anthony Kennedy were the only dissenting voters).

Alderperson Anthony Nudo called for the amendment at the committee level to amend the agreement from the city paying $56,000 to Brookstone for them to walk away from the development, to the city paying only $1.  The reason, he stated, was “that the city has invested a huge sum, over $1 million.  Brookstone originally paid $81,000 for the properties.” 

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Alderperson Ray Misner hosts Wal-Mart meeting

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Alderperson Ray Misner, alderperson for the 13th district, hosted a Wal-Mart informational meeting tonight at Grewenow School.  There was an audio/visual presentation prepared by Misner.  About 200 people packed the gym.  Other alderpersons in attendance were Steve Bostrom (12th district) and Larry Green (9th district).  Misner assured the group that he would remain in attendance until the last person left to ensure that all concerns and/or questions would be addressed.

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IGA extended for another 90 days

It was voted to extend the Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) executed by the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin, the Menominee Kenosha Gaming Authority, the City of Kenosha, and the County of Kenosha for another 90 days at last night’s City Council Meeting.  (The vote was 11 to 3, with alderpersons Theodore Ruffalo, G. John Ruffolo, and David Bogdala being the three dissenting voters.)  Earlier in the evening, the Finance Committee had a tie vote (2 to 2) with no recommendation coming from the committee.  (The two dissenters were Chairman David Bogdala and Theodore Ruffalo.)  The Executive Committee of the County Board already approved a 90-day extension; it will go before the County Board tonight.

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The Warrior Dash — firsthand

Gary Kunich attacks the mud pit. /Earlene Frederick photo

Saturday saw Warrior Dash come to Shadow Hill Ranch in Randall. Gary Kunich, a Kenosha resident, agreed to share his experiences with our readers at this unique — and muddy — event. — DH

By Gary J. Kunich

The annals of history are filled with gore-filled moments where warriors would dine on the intestines and drink the blood of enemies after hard-fought battles.

Thank goodness we, as a species, have evolved to a point where a warrior ethos means eating Flaming Hot Cheetos while watching Baywatch reruns on T.V.

But every so often we hear a whispering voice giving us direction in life.

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KABA and KACC announce local business award winners

A pair of Kenosha County business organizations will recognize seven local companies and one individual for their success on Thursday, Nov. 3.

The 2011 Kenosha County Business Excellence Awards, presented by the Kenosha Area Business Alliance and the Kenosha Area Chamber of Commerce, will be held at the Student Center University Ballroom at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. The revised format for this year’s awards includes a distinction between smaller and larger businesses, as well as recognition of emerging companies known as the “Fast Five.”

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KDOG makes marijuana arrest

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Kenosha Drug Operations Group (KDOG), with the assistance of Kenosha Police Department K9 Officer Torres and the Kenosha Police Department gang unit, completed a marijuana drug investigation on Wednesday.

At about 1:45 p.m., the suspect in the case was taken into custody on a traffic stop in the 4200 block of 79th Street on three drug-related charges, Sheriff’s Department spokesman Sgt. Bill Beth said.

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Frost advisory tonight

The National Weather Service has issued a frost advisory for an area of Wisconsin that includes Kenosha County.

If you can protect or bring in sensitive plants, it might be worth your while to do so yet tonight!