Monthly Archives: November 2012

Units responding to report of fire in Somers

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At about 9:25 p.m., Somers Fire and Rescue units are responding to a report of a fire in the 1900 block of First Street, in Somers.

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Units responding to crash on Green Bay Road in Pleasant Prairie

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At about 6:25 p.m., Pleasant Prairie Fire and Rescue and village police officers are responding to a report of a three-vehicle crash at Green Bay Road and Highway 165, in Pleasant Prairie.

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Highway K, west of Green Bay Road, open again

Kenosha County has announced that, after a delay due to work on a railroad crossing that took longer than expected, that Highway K (60th Street) west of Green Bay Road, is open again.

The whole announcement from the county follows:
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“Pasta for a Playground”

The Kenosha Dream Playground Project is holding a pasta and meatball dinner on Sunday, December 9th, from 12 noon to 6 pm. All proceeds will benefit the project.  Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children under 10. The event will be held at the Kenosha Moose Lodge, 3003 – 30th Avenue, in Kenosha. Tickets can be purchased in advance by calling Jaime Forsythe at (262) 697-1077. Tickets will also be sold at the door.

There will be silent auction items, and Kenosha Dream Playground official t-shirts will be on sale for $10.  If you would like to donate any items for the raffle, please call the number above.

Kenosha Public Museum hosts International Holiday

The Kenosha Public Museum is hosting an International Holiday on Saturday, December 1st, 2012, from 11 am to 3 pm.  Listed below are the details:

DaimlerChrysler Hall Vendors

  •  Museums Staff: Italian Meatball Bombers, Cookies, Cold Beverages
  • Mavra’s Greek Oil: Bottled Greek Olive Oils and Gift Baskets
  • St. John Chrysostomos Monastery: Greek Pastries, Breads, Pies, Crafts, Christmas Items

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Units responding to report of garage fire in Kenosha

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At about 5:26 p.m., Kenosha Fire Department units and police officers are responding to a report of a garage on fire in the 7800 block of 16th Avenue in Kenosha.

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Park Commission views Southport Park concept plan

On Monday night, representatives from the Madison-based SAA Design Group and Engberg Anderson presented the proposed concept plan to the Board of Park Commissioners.  The two public information meetings were held, one on September 26th, and the other on October 3rd.  Click here to read the articles from those meetings:  Citizens Speak Out About Southport Park; and Second Southport Park Meeting Held Tonight.

The public also saw this concept plan at a meeting that was held at the Oribiletti Center on November 1st.  To read the article on this meeting, click here:  Southport Park Meeting Tonight At Oribiletti Center.

There were three concept plans reviewed, Concept Plan A, B and C.  This proposal takes the best ideas from all three, and it calls for:

  • Adding trees to replace those lost in the 2011 storm;

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Bogdala’s motion again fails

Earlier tonight, the Common Council met at a special meeting to give their final approval on the 2013-2017 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) and to adopt the 2013 city of Kenosha budget.  Alderperson David Bogdala again made a motion regarding the west side fire department station.

His motion was to remove $100,000 from the Redevelopment Authority (RA) property acquisition fund, taking it from $400,000 to $300,000, and to create a new line item for that amount for a study of Fire Department Stations # 2, # 6, and # 8.  Alderperson Daniel Prozanski asked the fire chief if Bogdala had ever approached him regarding doing a study on Fire Department Station # 8, and his reply was no.

Prozanski then questioned Fire Chief John Thomsen about an earlier study that was done five to six years ago.  He wanted to know if that study was still viable.  Thomsen stated that the Almont Study evaluated the location of all fire stations in Kenosha, and the result was that many would be moved, except for Fire Station # 4, which is located at 60th Street and 48th Avenue.  Thomsen said that the funds proposed by city administration for the 2008 CIP were removed and, subsequently, the project died.

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Public hearings on city’s CIP and budget

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Yesterday, public hearings were held on the city’s 2013-2017 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) and the 2013 city of Kenosha budget.  There were more than a few citizens who made comments on the documents.  Listed below is a summary of those comments:

Paul McDonough, owner of several properties in downtown Kenosha:  “I am representing 50-plus downtown merchants and businesses supporting the streetcar expansion.  It’s a catalyst and an economic tool.  There were 45,000 riders last year, and 300,000 museum customers.  Riders are potential customers, and we really want to capture people.  This economic loop will be more viable than the existing loop.  This is one of the top five initiatives beneficial to business downtown.”

Robert Thomas:  “I have the opposite point of view.  This is a trolley to nowhere.  This loop makes as much sense as the first one.  I’d like to know what the cost to the city per rider is.  The city will have to spend $2 million.  The $8.2 million that we’re getting from the federal government is not Obama’s money; it’s our money.  We’re footing the whole bill.  It’s not free, and it’s not going to help us.  I’ve been on the trolley once.  The only person I ever see on the trolley is the driver.  It will help very few.  I’m against it, and I hope to see you people against it, too.”

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Units responding to crash in Kenosha

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At 8:08 a.m., Kenosha Fire Department units and city police officers are responding to a report of a crash at 56th Street and 19th Avenue, in Kenosha.

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Common Council votes to restore hourly bus service on Saturday

At the Kenosha Common Council Committee of the Whole meeting held earlier tonight, one of the motions that was approved was to include $25,873 in the Transit budget to provide hourly bus service for all of the Saturday routes.  This motion was made by Alderperson Tod Ohnstad.  The reason he gave was that it helps the elderly, the handicapped, and those less fortunate in the community.  “This is a ‘trial balloon,'” he said.  “It will again be reviewed to possibly continue funding in the future.”  At least three citizens had spoken during the public hearing in favor of this service restoration.

Alderperson David Bogdala asked Mayor Keith Bosman if he was in support of this ‘trial balloon,’ and the mayor replied that he had no position on it.  Alderperson Michael Orth noted that revenue miles were down from last year, but that ridership was up.  Demand was more now than it was a year ago.

The roll call vote was 16 to 1, with Bogdala being the sole dissenting voter.

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Units responding to alarm at Jane Vernon School

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At 11:05 a.m., Kenosha Fire Department units are responding to a report of a supervisory alarm at Jane Vernon School, in the 8500 block of 22nd Avenue, in Kenosha.

UPDATE 11:09 a.m. — First unit on scene reports no signs of smoke or fire showing from outside. Firefighters are inside and investigating.

UPDATE 11:12 a.m. — Firefighters have found a pulled alarm station. No fire inside. Students being let back into building.

Units responding to report of fire at Kenosha Achievement Center

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At 9:38 a.m., Kenosha Fire Department units are responding to a report of a fire at the Kenosha Achievement Center, 1218 – 79th Street, in Kenosha.

Dispatch says they received a call from staff at the center that there is a fire in a furnace on the roof with flames and smoke showing. The building is being evacuated.

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Washington Road railroad bridge

/Photo by Earlene Frederick

The Washington Road railroad bridge was discussed at the Public Safety & Welfare Committee meeting yesterday afternoon.  Mike Lemens, director of public works, said that this issue is of great concern to at least two alderpersons and the citizens of their districts.  Those two alderpersons, whose districts abut the bridge, were present at the meeting.

This issue was discussed at a prior meeting about two months ago.  Click here to read that article:  Two Public Safety Issues.  Lemens said that additional signs were installed, and the railroad promised to fix the fascia and other repairs, but these have not been completed yet.  The most recent completion date they’ve provided is December 12th.

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Changes to city alcohol ordinances approved

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At tonight’s Licensing & Permit Committee meeting, the committee members unanimously approved two changes having to do with alcohol ordinances for the city of Kenosha.

One had to do with the general ordinances, Chapter 10, entitled “Alcohol Beverages.”  Chairman Jesse Downing said that, over the last two months, numerous establishments have applied for liquor licenses, but there are none available.  Alderperson Rocco LaMacchia sponsored an ordinance change to add six additional licenses.  Downing said that “they were all for one corporation, but no one wanted to admit it.”  Therefore, the committee decided to do away with the city’s quota for Class A licenses and, at the same time, make the ordinance more stringent.

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Units responding to gas line break in Kenosha

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At 3:50 p.m., Kenosha Fire Department units are responding to a report of a gas line break in the 4800 block of 36th Avenue, in Kenosha.

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Deal of the Day: Cabana Tan $25 gift card half off

Have you heard about our feature at West of the I called Deal of the Day? It offers you great values on goods and services from local businesses. Here’s how it works. We offer a gift certificate or gift card from a local business for half price of its face value. For example, you get a $50 gift card but only pay $25 for it. Now that’s a deal! Full conditions available here.

Our offering today is from Cabana Tan in Paddock Lake. Cabana Tan Spa is dedicated to bringing you the most amazing tanning experience in all of SE Wisconsin! Their 3400 square foot facility offers 5 levels of Tanning, Airbrush Tanning, Laser Teeth Whitening, Massage Therapy and A Unique Boutique to shop in. The employees are educated in the indoor tanning industry and eager to customize the perfect tanning package or spa package just for you. Both single sessions and package deals are offered, along with a VIP Club for those year round tanners that want the absolutely lowest price possible with some really great benefits too! Cabana Tan’s private tanning rooms are designed to relax your mind while you achieve the perfect tan. Cabana Tan is open daily to accommodate your busy schedule and their commitment to cleanliness is unsurpassed. The offer today is for a $25 gift certificate for tanning beds only for $13.50 (includes $1.00 processing charge). Certificate expires 12-31-2012.

Durkee mansion tour

The Durkee Mansion, 6501 Third Avenue, part of the Kemper Center, was open today from 1 pm to 5 pm for free tours.  Come see the mansion, which was once home to United States Senator Charles Durkee.  The Durkee Mansion is a cream-brick, Italianate Victorian home.  It originally had an ornate, wooden wrap-around porch and a widow’s walk.  One of the striking features is the suspension stairway, located in the foyer.  It is the largest stairway of its type in the state.  The bedrooms on the second floor and the third floor (formerly the ballroom) have fireplaces, parquet floors, and louvered windows.  The third floor was not available for viewing and has been closed for years.

Click below for more pictures:

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Gallery of trees exhibit

Yesterday was the opening day of the 2012 Gallery of Trees at the Anderson Arts Center, 121 – 66th Street, in Kenosha.  This is a collection of designer-decorated trees, wreaths, mantelpieces, and centerpieces.  This is an annual exhibit, truly one of Kenosha’s greatest holiday events.

All proceeds from this year’s event will benefit the operations budget and the on-going restoration of Kemper Center and the Anderson Arts Center.  The Gallery of Trees would not be possible without the support of the underwriter, Snap-on, its patrons, and all of the sponsors, as well as the dedication and efforts of the Kemper volunteers and decorators.  They thank everyone, one and all.

Visitors could vote for their favorite tree, and raffle tickets can be purchased to win the trees and other display decorations.

All of the Kemper Center family wishes you and your family a Happy Holiday Season and a great new year!

Click below for more pictures:

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Sheriff’s Department promotions and re-assignments announced

The Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department has issued the following press release regarding promotions and other personnel changes at the department:

Measures passed by the Kenosha County Board of Supervisors in the 2013 budget and a retirement will mean changes at the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department.

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Holiday train display at the Kenosha Public Museum

Today was the opening day of the Holiday Train Display at the Kenosha Public Museum, 5500 First Avenue.  The holiday train, sponsored by the Kenosha Garden Railroad Society (formerly G-Scalers Model Train Club), will be on display in the lobby through January 6th, 2013.

The president of the club, Bill Zimmer, is a part-time maintenance man at the museum.  He says that he has had a fascination for trains that goes back a long way.  “I always had trains – ever since I can remember,” Zimmer said.

Click below to watch a short video clip:

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Kenosha Christmas Tree Lighting 2012 coverage

/Earlene Frederick photo

The holiday season in Kenosha was kicked off Friday with the official Christmas tree lighting and activities at various downtown businesses.

Mayor Keith Bosman and Santa Claus participated in the pre-tree lighting celebration at the Civil War Museum featuring music by Laura Kaeppeler, Miss America 2012, and the jazz band, Synergy.

After the lighting, those downtown were able to board the Kenosha streetcar, decked in holiday style, for pictures with Santa. Then Lightin’ Up Downtown took place at several downtown businesses.

Here’s some video by Earlene Frederick from the events:

See more photos from freelance photographer Earlene Frederick by clicking the link below:
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Units responding to report of smoke from residence in Kenosha

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At 12:56 p.m., Kenosha Fire Department units are responding to a report of smoke coming from a room in a basement of a residence in the 2000 block of 53rd Street, in Kenosha.

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Kenosha city water rate to increase

At last Monday’s Water Commission meeting, it was unanimously approved to increase the rate for water usage for Kenosha residents.  The percentage increase in water rates is not known at this time.  The water rate increase is expected to generate from $1 million to $1.4 million in additional revenue.  Storm water utility manager Ed St. Peter said that it’s up to the Wisconsin Public Service Commission to determine the rate.  St. Peter said the review can take from six to nine months.  Final approval is not expected until after the beginning of the year, possibly in the spring.

Along with the water rate increase, a reduced operating budget for the Kenosha Water Utility was also unanimously approved by the commissioners.  The operating budget for the utility is estimated at $24.4 million for 2013, down almost $600,000, which represents a 2.3% decrease.  The utility will stay at 83 employees for 2013.

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Neighborhood Watch Christmas video

The Kenosha Police crime prevention officers, Jeff Wamboldt and Ron Francis, have published a new Christmas video.  Click below to watch it:

This should get you into the Christmas spirit!

McKinley Middle School up for sale

The McKinley Middle School is officially on the market.  The Kenosha Unified School District (KUSD) has listed the property.  You can read the specs by clicking this link:  McKinley Middle School Property.
Offers to Purchase will be received until a qualified offer has been
accepted by the District.

Local artist’s work captures national TV show’s attention

Katie Dylewski’s portrait of journalist Anderson Cooper.

Katie Dylewski

Kenosha artist Katie Dylewski was watching Anderson Cooper’s daytime show, “Anderson Live” this summer when inspiration hit. Having previously been a writer and reporter for WLIP, Dylewski says that she has a lot of respect for Cooper and his reporting, so after seeing the show, she decided to paint a portrait of him.

While Dylewski almost exclusively paints with oils, she occasionally uses watercolors and brewed coffee. She became interested in using coffee as a medium because, as she says, “I like experimenting, and it was always something I wanted to try painting with. I’ve had such a big response from them (brewed coffee paintings) that I’m going to start doing more.”

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Happy Thanksgiving from!

Whether you spend it in KenoWI land or somewhere else, may you have a Happy Thanksgiving.

Gallery of trees opening night

Get in the holiday spirit by visiting the Gallery of Trees Opening Night at the Anderson Arts Center.  This event showcases numerous professionally decorated trees, wreaths and mantelpieces, which have been donated by area businesses and supporters, and then will be sold by silent auction to raise funds for the Kemper Center.

This year’s gala takes place on Saturday, November 24th, at 6 pm.  Tickets are $25.

If you can’t make it that night, at least go see the trees.  The Anderson Arts Center will be open from Sunday, November 25th through Sunday, December 2nd, 2012.  The hours are:  weekends from 1 to 5 pm, and weekdays from 1 to 7 pm.  Free admission.

Contact the Anderson Arts Center for further information at (262) 657-6005.

Common Council urges county to fund software upgrade

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At Monday night’s Common Council meeting, a resolution sponsored by Alderperson David Bogdala to urge the Kenosha County Board to commit funds for software upgrades for Joint Services to continue to provide access to law enforcement data bases was unanimously approved.  The county removed the funding from their budget.

The city’s Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) calls for putting $1.3 million in funding toward upgrading the 26-year-old system over the next two years.  The funding split calls for $400,000 in 2013, and $900,000 in 2014.  The Finance Committee supported those funds last week, and the full City Council will consider the funding as part of the CIP next week.  To read more about this, click here:  “Finance Committee Approves CIP.”

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