Monthly Archives: December 2011

Snow forecast for New Year’s Day

In a start to the New Year that many would rather not see, the National Weather Service forecast calls for an 80 percent chance of snow on Sunday.

First, the National Weather Service has issued a wind advisory for 9 a.m. to midnight Sunday. Rain from tonight will change to mixed precipitation and then snow later. That snow could accumulate to less than one inch and be blown by the wind, causing visibility troubles.

Car and pedestrian crash in Kenosha

/Earlene Frederick photo

Kenosha police are investigating the circumstances of a crash that appears to have involved a pedestrian and a car in the 3600 block of 60th Street, Kenosha, early this morning.

The crash was reported at about 2:45 a.m.

Initially, the report was that the incident occurred about five blocks east, but rescue came across the scene in the 3600 block.

The pedestrian appeared to suffer a head injury. Flight for Life medical transport helicopter was not able to respond due to weather conditions.

Wall collapse at food store

/Earlene Frederick photo

Police were called to the scene of a collapsed wall at a food store near 50th Street and 14th Avenue last Friday night.

According to radio traffic, a neighbor reported hearing a large boom around 10 p.m. Initially, officials thought a car may have hit the building, but that did not appear to be the case.

The bricks appeared to be part of a facade and not structural.

Units responding to report of crash

Photo by kconnors with

At 8:43 p.m., Pleasant Prairie Fire and Rescue is responding to a report of  a crash in the 5400 block of 75th Street, Pleasant Prairie.

Continue reading

Kenosha Bulk Waste Drop Off hours to change

The Kenosha Public Works Department has made the following announcement regarding bulk waste drop-off:

Beginning Jan. 3, 2012, the Bulk Waste Drop Off site’s normal operational hours will be Tuesdays from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The Recycling Drop-off site’s normal operational hours will remain unchanged and will be Tuesdays through Fridays from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Kenosha tree disposal sites listed

Photo by Miguel Saavedra via stock.xchng

The Kenosha Public Works Department has made the following announcement regarding holiday tree disposal:

Continue reading

“Project Sticker Shock” targets social hosting

Gavan Hicks - Teen Task Force Member/Photo by Margie Gentner

Youth leaders from the Teen Task Force and the Concerned Citizens Coalition On Alcohol & Other Drug Abuse for Greater Kenosha, working together to create a safer, healthier lifestyle, joined forces today to combat Kenosha’s growing problem of underage drinking.  Alcohol has been identified as the number one drug of choice among youth and, according to our youth, one of the easiest to obtain.  Thirteen local alcohol retailers participated in the group effort by allowing the teens to come in and place “Parents Who Host Lose the Most . . . Don’t Be a Party to Teenage Drinking” stickers on their cases of beer and other alcoholic products.

Units responding for report of chimney fire

Photo by kconnors with

At about 9:53 p.m., Somers Fire and Rescue and sheriff’s deputies are responding to a report of a chimney fire in the 300 block of 56th Avenue, Somers.

Dispatch reports that caller says smoke is going up chimney, so he has not exited the house.

Public assistance programming delivery to merge in Kenosha and Racine counties

The New Year will bring a new opportunity for delivering public assistance programming in Kenosha and Racine counties as the two entities join together for a regional approach to service delivery effective Jan. 1, 2012.

County Executive Jim Kreuser announced that the two counties will form Wisconsin’s Kenosha Racine Partners (WKRP) consortium in an effort to provide effective and efficient Income Maintenance (IM) services for residents living in both counties. Income Maintenance programs include FoodShare, Badgercare, Badgercare CORE, and a variety of other Medical Assistance programs.

The WKRP consortium is one of 10 regional consortia that have been formed across the State under Wisconsin Statute 49.78 that was passed into law in the 2011-13 State biennial budget.

“As demands for services increase and funding levels decrease, we have to look at creative ways to combine our limited resources and continue providing the exceptional level of service that our customers have come to expect,” Kreuser said.

County Human Services representatives from both counties have been working together over the last several months to design and merge the two IM delivery systems so that they meet the needs of both communities. Beginning in January, 2012, individuals can access Income Maintenance services in person at either the Kenosha or Racine location, or by dialing a Call Center phone.

The Kenosha locations are the Job Center/Human Services Building, 8600 Sheridan Road, Kenosha, or the Kenosha County Center, 19600 75th St., Paddock Lake; and the Racine location is the Human Services Department, 1717 Taylor Ave., Racine. The Toll-Free Call Center phone number is:  1-888-794-5820.  The Toll-Free Fax Number for Verifications is: 1-855-293-1822.

Volunteer tax preparers sought

Photo by Darren Shaw via stock.xchng

With tax season approaching, United Way of Kenosha County is working in partnership with other community organizations to support the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program, which provides income tax preparation services for low-moderate income individuals and families.

Volunteers are being recruited to work at VITA sites both in Kenosha and in Salem and will be provided with free training to become an IRS-certified tax preparer. In addition to tax preparation, volunteers are also needed to greet clients, provide interpreter services and organize the tax sites, while others may help assist with the publicity for the VITA program. Help your fellow community by volunteering a few hours per month to prepare taxes for those unable to afford it.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, please respond by Jan. 13. You may call 658-4104 or e-mail if you are interested or have questions regarding this volunteer opportunity. This program is brought to you by United Way of Kenosha County and the Kenosha County VITA Coalition.

Pleasant Prairie approves Small Building Redevelopment Grant Program

The Pleasant Prairie Village Board has approved a 2012 Small Building Redevelopment Grant Program.

The program is meant to provide an incentive for entrepreneurs and small business people to redevelop small vacant buildings within Pleasant Prairie. If awarded, grants would be used to offset up to $2,500 in fees related to a Village Pre-Development Agreement.

In order to qualify for the grant, an application would need to meet specific criteria related to the building’s size, age, location, vacancy, proposed use, and plan approvals by the Village Plan Commission.

The 2012 grant program is targeting the redevelopment of vacant buildings that are 5,000 square feet or smaller built prior to Jan.  1, 1989, and located in specific business and institutional districts in Pleasant Prairie.

“The redevelopment grant program really accomplishes two objectives,” explained Jean Werbie-Harris, community development director for the village. “The program will help small business owners offset certain financial costs related to establishing a business in the village, and it should help encourage entrepreneurs to redevelop smaller existing sites into viable small businesses.”

Details related to the 2012 Small Building Redevelopment Grant Program are available online by visiting and viewing the agenda documents for the Dec. 19, 2011, meeting.

Higgins staying on as city assessor

Mike Higgins - City Clerk/Treasurer/Assessor

At Monday night’s Common Council meeting, one of the agenda items voted on by the council was a modification of the Table of Organization for the City of Kenosha.  This change separated the position of City Clerk/Treasurer/Assessor and re-established the positions of City Clerk/Treasurer and City Assessor, and established pay ranges for these new positions.  The council approved this item unanimously (with a vote of 15 to 0).

Mike Higgins, the current City Clerk/Treasurer/Assessor, had previously talked about the idea of retiring at the end of the year.  (Click here to read a prior article on this subject:  Another City Employee Announces Retirement.)

Continue reading

Common Council report

Below is a report on Monday night’s Common Council meeting:

  • Assistant Police Chief William Brydges received a commendation from the mayor on his upcoming retirement from the police force.  He spent 34 years as a loyal servant of the city of Kenosha since 1977.  The mayor wished him a successful and happy future.
  • Citizen comments came from Al Mameth, who discussed the announced retirement of Mike Higgins, city clerk/treasurer/assessor, and John Christiansen, who defended the work of his company in response to the June 30th storm.

Continue reading

D.A.R.E. program returns to two Kenosha schools

Frank School D.A.R.E. graduates receive their diplomas and other mementos from (from right) Sheriff David Beth, Deputy David Wright and teachers Miss Huizenga and Mr. Gaudio.

The D.A.R.E. program, which teaches children skills to choose to avoid drugs and violence, has returned to two Kenosha schools.

Fifth graders at both Wilson and Frank schools have recently completed the 10-week course led by a Kenosha County Sheriff’s Deputy.

“We really wanted to create opportunities for students at the Frank and Wilson Elementary schools to positively interact with deputies,” said Sheriff David Beth, a former D.A.R.E. deputy himself. “ a great program to teach kids how to make positive decisions for their life and is a natural way to get a deputy and students interacting on a regular basis.”

The program is currently offered at 27 schools in Kenosha County, but has not been offered at schools in the city of Kenosha for awhile.

Continue reading

Hancock calls for trust from the community

The Kenosha Unified School District (KUSD) School Board met last night.  Six teachers were recognized for attaining their National Board certification, as well as football coach Jed Kennedy from Bradford High School for coaching the State championship team.

There were two citizens’ comments:  One parent wanted to know the difference between policy and practices.  He also made the board aware that kids don’t have enough time to eat their lunch when they are taken outside for 15 minutes of their 30-minute lunch period.  Another citizen spoke on the significant events of the past year:  the dissolution of the mediation agreement with the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), Hispanic administrators leaving the district, and minors being questioned by police regarding gang activity without their parents or a lawyer being present.

Continue reading

Common Council defers cell tower

At last night’s Finance Committee meeting, there was consideration given to the vacant land sale and leaseback agreement between the City of Kenosha and New Cingular Wireless PCS (NCWPCS).  A cell tower would be located on the property at 1613 Washington Road (behind the Time Warner Cable building).

Alderperson Anthony Nudo had a lot of questions and concerns about the leaseback agreement.  He said that conceptually, it’s okay, but there are several points in the lease that need review.  The generally-referenced documents were not included in his packet, and the survey was illegible.  He also felt the lease rate was below the market rate.  He asked for a deferral to allow time to review more completely.

Continue reading

Menominee IGA extended once more

The Finance Committee met last night.  One of the agenda items included the proposed extension of the Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) by the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin, the Menominee Kenosha Gaming Authority, City of Kenosha, and the County of Kenosha.

Four representatives from the Menominee Indian Tribe were present and answered questions posed by the committee members.  Alderperson Tod Ohnstad wanted to know if the chances for the casino were better or worse than previously reported.  The last time the committee was asked for an extension, the report was that the chances “were a long shot.”  The tribe’s attorney thought that the chances were better now than before.  The tribe settled their lawsuit with the Department of the Interior, they met with them in D.C., they met with the Midwest Region Office, and the environmental issues were given a timeline.  The Federal Government approved a similar California facility.  The attorney thought that the project would more likely come to fruition.

Continue reading

Units responding for report of crash

Photo by kconnors with

At 5:58 p.m., Somers Fire and Rescue and sheriff’s deputies are responding for a report of crash at Highways E and EA, Somers.

Continue reading

T’was the Night of the Break-In

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:

With the holidays fast approaching and 2011 soon coming to an end, we thought we would write a special safety article for the season. Together with Officer Friendly, Dennis Walsh, we wrote this poem based on “T’was the Night Before Christmas.” We hope you enjoy it. Have a safe and happy holiday season.


T’was the Night of the Break-In 

Continue reading

Chiappetta’s Shoes approved for banners

The Public Safety & Welfare Committee met on Monday evening.  Below is a report of what transpired at that meeting:

  • A resident request to remove the one-hour parking in front of 6517/6519 – 5th Avenue was approved unanimously.  Staff recommended a ninety-day trial.
  • Chiappetta Shoes’ request for six banners in the public right-of-way was approved by a vote of 4 to 1 (Alderperson Anthony Kennedy was opposed).  The agreement reached with Chiappetta Shoes was to approve the request, with the condition that, if and when the sign ordinance is ever re-written, that the store owner will have to comply with the ordinance, even if it means that the banners would be illegal.  Fred Chiappetta agreed.  The committee hoped that this would give a “nudge” to the City Attorney’s Office to get going on the re-write of this ordinance which has been in process for four years now.

Units responding to car fire

Photo by kconnors with

At 8:04 p.m., Pleasant Prairie Fire and rescue is responding to a report of a car on fire in the 11100 block of Sheridan Road, Pleasant Prairie.

New ordinance affecting licenses

On Monday morning, the Licensing & Permit Committee met for a rather lengthy period of time (over three hours).  The bulk of the meeting had to do with two revocation hearings.  Click here to read a report on that:  Two Revocation Hearings Held This Morning.

Continue reading

SeeClickFix not to be used to report snow issues


Chairman G. John Ruffolo stated at tonight’s Public Works Committee that the system, SeeClickFix is not to be used for snow removal issues, as was stated by Alderperson David Bogdala at the last Common Council meeting.  “This committee,” Ruffolo said, “is the only committee that decides what will and will not be handled through the SeeClickFix system.  Using the system to report snow removal issues would overload the system.”  Its used are currently limited to reporting non-emergency issues, such as graffiti, potholes, and non-working streetlights.  Ruffolo stated that he has already discussed this with Bogdala.

Continue reading

Still no final storm report

A split tree on the lawn in front of the Kenosha County Courthouse.

Mayor Keith Bosman and city administrator Frank Pacetti were in attendance at tonight’s Storm Water Utility Committee meeting.  The committee was under the impression that they were going to receive a final report from the mayor and the city administrator on the June 30, 2011, storm damage cleanup.  This was requested at the last meeting due to conflicting reports from the mayor’s office and the former director of Public Works.  Click here for that report:  Tree Removal $200,000 Over Budget.  However, that was not what was presented this evening.  Pacetti distributed a draft of an emergency management procedure.

Continue reading

2012 pool and golf fees

Photo by Luz Maria Espinoza via stock.xchng

At Monday night’s Board of Park Commissioners meeting, the 2012 pool and golf fees were approved unanimously.  They will now go before the Common Council at Monday night’s meeting for final approval.

These have been attached here for your information (this is a two-page document):  2012 Pool & Golf Fees.

You will note that pool usage rates, in general, are lower than last year, and golf rates only went up slightly or not at all from last year.




Presentation on golf course concessions

At Monday night’s Board of Park Commissioners meeting, Peter Gochis made a presentation to the commissioners regarding taking over Kenosha’s Municipal Golf Course concessions.  This man stated that he has over forty years experience in business.   He also stated that he owns fourteen businesses, three of which are in Kenosha (two of which are Somers House and Bull & Bear Eatery).  Thirteen are still in business.  The fourteenth, he claims, is a barn that burned down.

Continue reading

Fire destroys storage building

/Earlene Frederick photo

A fire destroyed a building at Birch and Sheridan Roads used for storage of park equipment early this morning.

The building housed picnic tables, playground equipment, and other related items.

Kenosha and Somers firefighters were on the scene. The fire was reported at about 4 a.m.

/Earlene Frederick photo


/Earlene Frederick photo

Process for naming of parks

At last night’s Board of Park Commissioners meeting, one of the informational items discussed was the process for re-naming of parks.  Chairman Michael Orth stated that there are several parks whose names no longer apply or were never officially named.  “The very first one that comes to mind,” Orth said, “is Old Little League Park.  This is very confusing for out-of-town visitors.  Power Line Park is another; it needs a more fitting name.  Strawberry Creek Park hasn’t officially been named yet.  In the 13th district, there’s Elmwood School Park.  There is no Elmwood School in Kenosha.  Southwest Library Park has no name.  We should be able to find someone who’s made a big impact on the library system and re-name that park.  Another one is Tot Park.  I know that this is kind of an appropriate name because this is where tots play.  But, this was originally named by the Rotary Club.  With some research, we should be able to find a rotarian and honor that person more specifically.

Continue reading

Two revocation hearings held this morning

At this morning’s Licensing & Permit Committee meeting, two revocation hearings were held.

The first had to do with Roosevelt Oil, 2710 Roosevelt Road.  After numerous citations for the sale of alcohol to underage persons and a citation for the sale of synthetic marijuana (a banned substance), the establishment accumulated sufficient demerit points to warrant a revocation hearing.  There was some confusion as to who the agent was.  Apparently, the business had been transferred, but the City Clerk’s Office had not been informed of it.  The agent’s lawyer, Larry Keating, argued that the synthetic marijuana citation was dismissed by the courts; therefore, it should not have any demerit points assigned.  He also stated that he was not contesting the other citations, merely pleading for the mitigation of points and the lessening of any discipline that the committee may deem necessary.

Continue reading

Kenosha mayoral candidate Jesse Downing first to turn in nomination signatures

Jesse Downing

Jesse Downing, 16th district alderperson, chairman of the common council, and Kenosha mayoral candidate, turned in four hundred signatures, the maximum allowed under Wisconsin law, to the Kenosha city clerk’s office on December 5th.  Downing is the first candidate to turn in his signatures, and these were collected in less than four days.

“I have been working hard to meet as many Kenosha residents as possible,” said Downing.  “It’s clear that the middle class and working families of Kenosha are ready for a change.”

Continue reading