Tonight, the Kenosha Unified School District (KUSD) board met with the members of the four standing committees to discuss the 2012-2013 Transformation/Budget Plan. The entire board room was filled to capacity, and another room was opened up to accommodate the overflow capacity so that interested parties could view the meeting. Basically, the district faced a $33 million deficit last year; this year, they are facing a $28 million deficit.
Superintendent of schools Michele Hancock opened the meeting with a one-minute video clip called “The Power of Words.” In it, a blind man was depicted sitting on the sidewalk begging for money with the words, “I’m blind; Please help,” written on a cardboard sign. Not until a woman comes along and changes his sign to read “It’s a beautiful day, and I can’t see it” does the man start getting people to notice him and throw him their loose change. Hancock’s point was that “by changing words, we change lives.”
At yesterday morning’s Licensing & Permit Committee meeting, the revocation hearing for 2901 Pub & Grub was deferred for 30 days to allow the parties involved to reach a written stipulation. Assistant city attorney Matt Knight stated that this was the continuation of the hearing which started at the end of October, 2011. At that time, the city presented evidence on the economic impact statement which showed that the establishment did not meet 70% of its economic projections for its first full year in business.
Attorney Larry Keating represented Richard Yuenkel, the current licensee of the establishment, and he requested the adjournment. John Pasquale is looking to enter into a lease agreement which would transfer the liquor license from Yuenkel to the new owner. The extra time would also allow whatever meetings would be necessary with the alderperson of the district.
- A request from Debra Salas for permission to serve fermented malt beverages during a wedding reception in Anderson Park on Sunday, August 5, 2012.
- A request from Mt. Carmel Church for the following on July 13-15, 2012 (rain dates of July 20-22): to hold their festival in Columbus Park, permission to sell fermented malt beverages, and to extend the park closing time from 10:00 pm to 11:00 pm.
- A request from the Kenosha YMCA to hold their annual Food, Folks & Spokes event on Friday, July 20, 2012, in Library Park. The commission agreed to a 50% sponsorship.
Pleasant Prairie has made the following announcement:
The Pleasant Prairie Police and Fire Commission has named Doug McElmury as the new Chief of Fire & Rescue for the Village of Pleasant Prairie.
McElmury has been with the department since March of 1989 and has subsequently served as Firefighter/Paramedic, Training Officer, Captain, Assistant Chief, and Interim Chief. Prior to his service with Pleasant Prairie, McElmury was a member of both the Wheatland and Lake Geneva Fire Departments.
The Village conducted a broad search. A thorough evaluation of respondents was conducted, and candidates were subsequently interviewed by a three-member panel, including: Chief Paul Maplethorp with Greater Round Lake Fire Protection District; Chief Jeff Steingart with Countryside Fire Protection District; and Chief Mark Kirschhoffer with Newport Township Fire Protection District. Candidates were then presented to the Police and Fire Commission for their consideration. Both the panel of Fire Chiefs and the Commission unanimously selected Doug McElmury as the best candidate for the position.
“The Village of Pleasant Prairie would like to thank Doug for his years of service to the residents in Pleasant Prairie and congratulate him on being selected as the new Chief of Fire & Rescue,” commented Carol Willke, Director of Human Resources for Pleasant Prairie. “Doug’s technical expertise, outstanding interview scores, and leadership skills will be an asset to the Department as they continue to provide high quality fire and rescue services to residents and visitors in Pleasant Prairie.”
This was a new location for the event with a new format. A giant pool was set-up in The Brat Stop’s parking lot.
In case you might think that this arrangement was somehow warmer — and therefore softer — on the participants, consider this. Organizers had to remove a 2- to 5-inch layer of ice from the pool this morning in preparation for the event, said Raechel Tudjan, Regional Director of Development, Special Olympics Wisconsin, Inc., Southeastern Region.
Plungers — and chickens who collected donations but didn’t take a dip — raised funds for Special Olympics programs in the area. Special Olympics Wisconsin’s Southeastern Regional office supports nearly 1,400 local Special Olympics athletes, from five counties–Racine, Kenosha, Rock, Walworth and Jefferson.
Preliminary figures as of Saturday night showed about 300 participants raising $60,000, Tudjan said.
Here’s some video for you to get a feel of the process, starting off with the Kenosha County Copsicles, a team of sheriff’s deputies:
Here are some more photos of the event:
What do the roads look like out there?
“All of Somers is bad,” a deputy reported to dispatch.
At about 5:35 p.m., deputies are responding to a report of a crash in the 3000 block of Highway E, Somers.
At about 4:55 p.m., Somers Fire and Rescue is responding to a report of a crash in the 7100 block of Highway S.
Admission of $5 per person from the After Five was donated to Special Olympics.
Pleasant Prairie will host Kenosha Velosport’s Annual Spring Training Races on three consecutive Sundays in March.
On March 11, 18, and 25, daylong bicycle races will be held on a 0.7-mile loop within LakeView Corporate Park, from 80th Avenue to 100th Street to 77th Avenue to 102nd Street.
Limited road closures will take place on each of these dates from approximately 7 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Northbound lanes on 80th Street will be closed between 100th and 102nd Streets, and traffic will be re-routed to the southbound lanes, accommodating one lane of traffic in either direction. The remaining three roads of the loop will be closed to through traffic.
Kenosha Velosport and businesses along the loop work together to ensure a safe route for racers while accommodating employee and truck traffic during the races.
Kenosha Velosport is a local bicycling club whose mission is to introduce children to competitive cycling. The group has been hosting Spring Training Races for the past 33 years and is sanctioned by American Bicycle Racing. The Kenosha Velosport website address is: www.kenoshavelosport.org.
The area’s community foundation will make grants from five of the funds it manages: unrestricted funds, the OMC Legacy Fund, the LaFave Family Fund, the Women’s Fund, and the Arts Fund. In previous years, the Foundation awarded grants between $500 and $18,000 to area not-for-profit organizations. In 2011, 24 grants, totaling $73,000, from these five funds were awarded.
Applications must be received by the Foundation no later than 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 29. Grant criteria and grant application forms are available on the Foundation’s website.
For additional questions, contact [email protected], or call 654-2412. The Kenosha Community Foundation, organized in 1926 as a tax-exempt public charity, actively manages permanent endowments established by individuals, families, and business organizations. The Foundation manages over $5 million in endowment funds and each year awards around $200,000 in grants and scholarships to Kenosha area non-profit organizations and students.
The action came at a Feb. 6 Village Board meeting.
In January, Final Site and Operational Plans for a new sales and service center were approved for Lynch Chevrolet by the village Plan Commission. The new Chevrolet dealership will be located south of Highway 50 at 10901 – 75th Street.
Lynch Motor Vehicle Group, based in Burlington, operates multiple vehicle dealerships in Wisconsin and Illinois and currently has a temporary location further east on Highway 50. Lynch has already started grading work and making stormwater improvements at the site. Recently, the automotive group purchased an additional 2.1 acres directly to the south of the property to add to their site. Plans call for a 31,000 square foot building, with a 5,000 square foot showroom, to be built on approximately 8.3 acres. The new facility is proposed to be complete during the summer of 2012.
“We are pleased and excited to welcome Lynch to Pleasant Prairie,” commented Jean Werbie-Harris, community development director in Pleasant Prairie. “We wish them a great deal of success in their new venture.”
Upon opening, the dealership is expected to employ 35 full-time and 5 part-time employees. Proposed hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. and Saturday between 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Access to the dealership will be made from Highway 50 until the proposed improvement of the state highway in 2016. At that time, access will be created through the future 109th Avenue.
At Monday night’s Common Council meeting, five citizens spoke during the Citizens’ Comments portion of the meeting. Doug Williams (running for alderperson in the 9th district against Keith Rosenberg) admonished the council body for not having met with Alderperson Patrick Juliana to discuss his ethics board proposal. Linda Horton was disappointed that the city turned down the AT&T proposal for a cell tower at the Washington Bowl/Velodrome. Al Nameth exhorted the council to fight to not tear down the newest building on the old Chrysler plant property. Andy Berg encouraged the council members to shave their heads in honor of St. Baldrick on March 3, at the Brat Stop. The St. Baldrick’s Foundation is a volunteer-driven charity committed to funding the most promising research to find cures for childhood cancers and give survivors long and healthy lives. Lou Rugani urged the council to save the Heritage House by allowing a developer to purchase it for $1 and renovate it, similar to what the city did with the old Orpheum Theater many years ago.
The following actions were taken:
A word from our sponsors: Special Olympics Polar Plunge is this Saturday; Plunge After Five is Thursday
The event has been changed up a bit with a new Plunge name and location for 2012…The Southeastern WI Polar Plunge (formerly known as the Pleasant Prairie Plunge) will be held at The Brat Stop, in Kenosha. A giant pool will be set-up in The Brat Stop’s parking lot.
Join in on the fun at this family-friendly event…you can Plunge and Party all in one cool location-The Brat Stop.
There also is a way to participate for those “Too Chicken” to Plunge. Registering as a Chicken means participants still raise funds, but stay totally dry, while watching others plunge.
The Southeastern Wisconsin Polar Plunge, at The Brat Stop, will feature food, drinks, auctions, raffles and music by The Kingfish. For those just interested in watching it all, there will be Plunge viewing areas both poolside (outside) and inside The Brat Stop.
Non-participants/general public can enjoy the Post-Plunge Party from 2 to 7 p.m. A $5 donation to Special Olympics gets you legendary food and drinks from The Brat Stop.
Registration for the Southeastern WI Polar Plunge can be done online until Friday, Feb. 10, at noon. Or, register in person, at The Brat Stop, on either Friday, Feb. 10, from 6 to 9p.m., or the day of the event, from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30p.m.
The Polar Plunge is Special Olympics Wisconsin’s largest and most well-known fundraising event. Southeastern WI Polar Plunge is one of twelve plunges that will be held throughout Wisconsin. The purpose of this event is to be “freezin’ for a reason,” and to raise funds to carry out the Special Olympics mission.
Special Olympics Wisconsin’s Southeastern Regional Office supports nearly 1,400 local Special Olympics athletes, from five counties–Racine, Kenosha, Rock, Walworth and Jefferson. The regional office hosts events throughout these five counties year round.
For more information on the Polar Plunge event, please visit http://www.specialolympicswisconsin.org – click on Polar Plunge, scroll down and click on Southeastern WI Plunge, or contact the Regional Office using the information below.
Also, on Feb. 9, The Brat Stop and Polar Plunge will sponsor a Business After Five at The Brat Stop from 5 to 7 p.m.
Admission is $5, which will be donated to Special Olympics. The local business community is invited.
Those attending the After Five will get a sneak peak behind the scenes of the plunge, get to meet Special Olympics athletes, learn tips from expert plungers, and enjoy food, drink, and open networking.
At about 9:58 p.m., Kenosha Fire and Rescue units are responding to a report of an unknown medical problem at Carthage College.
Dispatch reports that the call is for a student who may be having an asthma attack, but is not getting relief from an inhaler. Security is with the patient.
Pleasant Prairie Police are seeking information regarding a suspect in a bank robbery that occurred at approximately 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 7.
At last night’s Finance Committee, a resolution was proposed to register the opposition of the Common Council to the proposed change to the HOME Investment Partnerships Program rule concerning conversion of home ownership units to rental units. Chairman David Bogdala reported that, at last week’s Home Commission meeting, the discussion turned to the issue of some changes being proposed in Washington having to do with the HOME program. Therefore, they decided to craft a resolution to formally take a stand against these changes.
The most significant change is regarding homes we’ve built or would build in the future. “If we don’t sell the house within six months, it automatically converts to a rental home for twenty years. This defeats the mission of the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the community, and home ownership,” said Bogdala. “We wouldn’t be able to use HOME dollars to fix the homes up. Our staff cannot become landlords.
Kenosha city government, together with Carthage College, is announcing an upcoming visit to the city by hometown Miss America, Laura Kaeppeler.
Kaeppeler will sing during a free, public program at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 15, in the A. F. Siebert Chapel at Carthage College. Admission will be on a first-come, first-served basis.
Kaeppeler is a 2010 graduate of Carthage College, where she majored in music, with an emphasis in vocal performance. She also is a 2006 graduate of St. Joseph High School.
Kaeppeler was crowned Miss America on Jan. 14 in Las Vegas, Nev. She performed an operatic rendition of “Il Bacio” for the talent portion of the competition. She is the daughter of Sue and Jeff Kaeppeler.
Further details on Kaeppeler’s appearance will be available soon. To learn more about Miss America, Laura Kaeppeler, visit: www.carthage.edu/miss-america/.
At Monday’s Common Council meeting, a resolution was unanimously approved to declare March 2nd “Laura Kaeppeler Day.” This day is, incidentally, her birthday. She will be 24.
At 7:22 p.m., Somers Fire and Rescue and sheriff’s deputies are responding to a report of a crash at Green Bay Road and Highway S, Somers.
Deputy on scene reports that crash is in eastbound lanes of Highway S. One person reporting back pain. One vehicle apparently rear-ended the other vehicle.
The Common Council unanimously approved an amended ethics board ordinance at tonight’s meeting. This, after citizen Doug Williams (who’s running for alderperson of the 9th district against Keith Rosenberg) admonished the council during the citizens’ comments portion of the meeting, for not having met with Alderperson Patrick Juliana to discuss his proposal. Alderperson G. John Ruffolo distributed an amendment whereby the city may enter into an agreement to exchange services to create an ethics board if a case should arise. Click here to read the entire draft ordinance: “Ethics Board” and “Code of Ethics.”
The Coast Guard Auxiliary is hosting “America Boats Safely” (ABS) to help you make your boating experience safe as well as fun. Topics include: Nautical Terminology, Legal Requirements, Boating Emergencies, Towing, Basic Navigation, Safety Equipment, and much more.
If you were born after December 31, 1988, this course meets your DNR requirements for licensing.
ABS is offered over three consecutive Thursday evenings from 6:00 pm to 8:45 pm, beginning on Feb. 9 at Gander Mountain (6802 – 118th Avenue, Kenosha). Cost is $30 for the first family member, and $20 for each additional family member.
To sign up or for questions, contact Tim Caufield at (262) 492-6497.
Kenosha Unified School District Superintendent Michele Hancock was named one of ten 2012 ‘Tech-Savvy Superintendent Award’ winners by eschoolnews.com.
The 2012 award winners will be honored in a private ceremony held in conjunction with the Century Club 100 meeting at the American Association of School Administrators’ annual conference in Houston Feb. 18. They were chosen by eschoolnews.com editors.