Monthly Archives: December 2012

Kenosha Community Foundation grants app period now open

kenosha-community-foundationKenosha Community Foundation announces that local not-for-profit organizations can now apply for 2013 grants. According to Foundation President Ken Fellman, the area’s community foundation will make grants from five of the funds it manages.

The Foundation is seeking proposals to be funded from the following:

  • Unrestricted Funds – Grants from this group of funds support programs that improve the general welfare and enhance the quality of life for people of all ages in the greater Kenosha community. For the 2013 grant cycle, the Foundation will give highest priority to programs that address a broad range of basic human needs that are being impacted within the Kenosha community by the current economic conditions.
  • OMC Legacy Fund – Grants from this fund support programs and activities that improve the general welfare and enhance the quality of life for youth in the greater Kenosha community.
  • LaFave Family Fund – From a fund established by the estate of former Bradford High School teacher Susann LaFave, grants from this fund will support programs and organizations that promote understanding, communication, and a sense of tolerance between individuals and groups through education, the arts, and humanities.
  • Women’s Fund – Grants from this fund support programs that create opportunities for women and children through responsive philanthropy and community involvement.
  • Arts Fund – Grants from this fund support programs that enhance the culture, economy, and quality of life in Kenosha County; the fund is particularly interested in:  a) opportunities and creative initiatives for expanding art in Kenosha; b) urgent needs which sustain fledgling organizations or efforts; and/or c) projects that have educational value.

In previous years, the Foundation awarded grants between $500 and $18,000 to area not-for-profit organizations. In 2012, the Foundation awarded 28 grants, totaling $79,500, from these funds. Applications must be received by the Foundation no later than 4 p.m. Thursday, February 28, 2013. A committee of volunteers from around Kenosha County will help select award recipients; grant awards will be announced in late spring.  Grant criteria and application forms are available on the Foundation’s website – For additional questions, contact, or call 262-654-2412.

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 over $200,000 in grants and scholarships to Kenosha area non-profit organizations and students.

Demolition begins at KEP

KEP 008_optDriving past the Kenosha Engine Plant today, the writer noticed that demolition has begun at the old Chrysler plant.  The last engine was produced on October 22, 2010.  Here are some pictures which were taken earlier this afternoon on the south side of the property:

Along 60th Street

Along 60th Street

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Units responding to crash on I-94

Photo by kconnors via

Photo by kconnors via

At about 12:50 p.m., a sheriff’s deputy is responding to a report of a crash in the northbound lanes of I-94 at the Highway 158 overpass, in Kenosha.

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Units responding to oven fire in Kenosha

Photo by kconnors with

Photo by kconnors with

At 11:48 a.m., Kenosha Fire Department units and city police officers are responding to a report of an oven fire in the 4700 block of 29th Avenue, in Kenosha.

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Next KACVB First Friday event is Jan. 4



The  Kenosha Area Convention & Visitors Bureau issued the following press release regarding the next First Fridays event at the  I-94 Visitor Information Center:

The Kenosha Area Convention & Visitors Bureau kicks off the new year with another First Fridays event on January 4th. Winter travelers taking a break from the road and local residents alike are invited to stop by this fun, tasty, and informative Open House at the KACVB’s I-94 Visitor Information Center.

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Slippery conditions on I-94 cause multiple crashes; one driver critically injured

/Earlene Frederick photo

/Earlene Frederick photo

Slippery conditions on I-94 caused multiple crashes this morning on I-94 near Highway C.

The Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department released the following statement on the situation, including one crash that resulted in critical injuries to one man:
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Patriots Swim Team results from COHO Swim Club IMX Challenge

Pleasant Prairie RecPlex and the Patriots Swim Team have issued the following press release regarding the COHO Swim Club IMX Challenge, held earlier this month:
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Lincoln in the movies

Lincoln - Team of RivalsImages and artifacts from many of the 200+ films and television productions that have depicted the 16th President of the United States are on display at the Civil War Museum.  It’s a new exhibit called “Lincoln in the Movies.”  Included are images and artifacts from many films and television productions that have depicted Abraham Lincoln.

This exhibit will run through May 31, 2013, in the second floor lobby hallway cases.

Units responding to car fire on I-94

Photo by kconnors with

Photo by kconnors with

At 2:32 p.m., Somers Fire and Rescue units are responding to a report of a car fire on I-94.

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Frost fest at the Kenosha Public Museum

Frost FestFrost Fest is a free drop-in program for children with adults at the Kenosha Public Museum.  Sponsored by the Friends of the Museums.

Animals in Winter
Wednesday, December 26th, 1 pm to 4 pm
Find out how animals survive and stay warm in the winter.  Make animal tracks to discover what animals visit your yard.  Help our feathered friends by making some bird treats.

Celebrate Kwanzaa
Thursday, December 27th, 1 pm to 4 pm
Learn about the holiday “Kwanzaa,” celebrated December 26 through January 1st.  Make a Kwanzaa pasta necklace.  Create a family tree.   Weave a mkeka mat.  Play African musical instruments.

Happy New Year!
Friday, December 28th, 1 pm to 4 pm
Let’s welcome 2013!  Make a New Year’s hat and a noisemaker for your New Year’s Eve celebration.  Make a peace dove.  Decorate a wall calendar to keep track of all those important 2013 dates.

Call the museum at (262) 653-4130 with any questions.

Holiday tree disposal sites offered

christmas treesHoliday trees may be dropped off inside the green snow fence enclosures at the locations listed below until January 31st, 2013.  Collected trees will be chipped and used as mulch in city parks. To prevent damage to chipping equipment, please remove all tree bags, ornaments, tree stands, nails, and other metal objects and place in trash receptacles provided at each bin.

Disposal of other holiday greenery (wreaths, garlands, etc.) must be placed with your normal residential trash collection.

Holiday Tree Disposal Locations

  • Wolfenbuttel Park:  60th Street/3rd Avenue
  • Park @ Southwest Library:  38th Avenue/79th Street

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Units responding to crash in Pleasant Prairie

Photo by kconnors with

Photo by kconnors with

At about 5:15 p.m., Pleasant Prairie Fire and Rescue units and village police are responding to a report of a crash at 94th Street and Wilmot Road, in Pleasant Prairie.

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Holiday trash collection and drop-off site hours

trashThere will be a one-day delay for curbside collection of garbage, recycling, tire, and bulk collection routes for the Christmas day holiday beginning Tuesday, December 25, 2012. Tuesday’s routes will be picked up on Wednesday, Wednesday’s routes on Thursday, Thursday’s routes on Friday, and Friday’s routes on Saturday, December 29, 2012.

For the New Year’s day holiday, the delay will begin on Tuesday, January 1, 2013. Tuesday’s routes will be picked up on Wednesday, Wednesday’s routes on Thursday, Thursday’s routes on Friday, and Friday’s routes on Saturday, January 5, 2013.

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New second Saturday events to begin on January 12

2013 calendar

The City of Kenosha will present a new series of entertainment at the Kenosha Public Museum and Civil War Museum this winter, tying in with Second Saturday specials in downtown Kenosha.

Second Saturdays with the City begins on Saturday, January 12th, with “Hot Jazz on a Cold Night,” featuring music by Synergy from 6 to 9 pm at the Kenosha Public Museum. People may contribute their talents to an indoor public art mural,visit the museum exhibits, and enjoy antipasto appetizers.

Upcoming Second Saturdays include “It’s Valentine’s Day, Charlie Brown!” on Saturday, February 9th, which highlights a new museum exhibit, “Peanuts . . . Naturally.”  From jazz to ragtime to pops, Preludio Strings sets the mood with music.  Refreshments will include delectable chocolate treats.

On Saturday, March 9th, the festivities move to the Civil War Museum, for “The Luck o’ the Irish” party.  A bit o’ blarney, the lilt of Irish music by Jeff Ward, and light refreshments by Ashling on the Lough will have your Irish eyes smiling. Be sure to see the exhibit, “Keith Rocco: Capturing the Past.”

Cost is $20 per event and includes refreshments. A discounted price of $15 is available to members of Friends of the Museums. For further information, or to purchase tickets, phone the museum at (262) 653-4140.

Police and Fire Department retirements and promotions

Kenosha-Police-Dept-Badge-Logo-webKenosha Fire Department LogoOn Tuesday morning, there were several retirements approved by the Police and Fire Commission.  Those retirements are listed below, along with their years of service in parentheses:

  • Detective Kenneth Kopesky’s retirement effective December 31, 2012 (42).  Kopesky is the fifty longest-serving member in the history of the Kenosha Police Department.
  • Line Captain John Kiel’s retirement effective December 31, 2012 (33).
  • Fire House Captain Kenneth Walton’s retirement effective December 31, 2012 (32).

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County health division offers holiday coping advice

sadnessThe Kenosha County Division of Health offers the following:

Happy Holidays! Or is it?

For many, holidays bring feelings of sadness or depression, not joy and fond memories. Recognizing that this is not a happy time for you, that it’s OK to cry, and acknowledging your feelings, are essential steps in trying to make the holiday season a happier time.

Some tips for coping with the holidays:
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Man charged in Kenosha bank robbery

The Kenosha Police Department is distributing the following statement regarding the charging of a person in connection with a Kenosha bank robbery earlier this week:
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Person killed in train-car crash identified

The Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department has identified the person killed in a train-car crash last night in Somers as Erik S. Johnson, 20, of Kenosha.

From the Sheriff’s Department statement:
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Shell Plaza loses beer license

Shell LogoAt Monday night’s Common Council meeting, it was voted to approve the findings of fact, conclusions of law, and recommendation of the Licensing & Permit Committee to revoke the beer license of Shell Food Plaza, located at 11748 – 75th Street.  This was a voice vote.  It was not an unanimous decision; there were a couple of no’s that rang out, which couldn’t be identified definitively.

Ray Misner, of the Licensing and Community Standards Consultants of Wisconsin, LLC, spoke on behalf of the licensee, although he stated that he was not his legal counsel.  He handed out a packet to the Council members and to Steve Cain, the legal counsel for the Common Council.  Misner stated that the old agent, Yolo Yolov, was no longer employed by the corporation.  “The successor agent is a temporary placeholder until approved for permanent placement.”  He made the case that the revocation was against the agent, the employee, and not the corporation.  The recommendation of the Licensing & Permit Committee is for revocation.  He said that the demerit points should not be applied to the corporation or to the new agent.  He stated that he was challenging the revocation.

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Units responding to vehicle vs. train crash in Somers: one person killed

Photo by kconnors with

Photo by kconnors with

At 9:13 p.m., Somers Fire and Rescue units and sheriff’s deputies are responding to a report of a crash involving a vehicle and a train at Highway A and the Canadian Pacific, in Somers.

Crash was reported by the train crew. Train was estimated to be traveling between 75 to 80 mph at time of impact.

UPDATE 9:24 p.m. — Deputy blocking westbound traffic on Highway A at Highway EA.

UPDATE 11:43 p.m. — From the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department:

On 12-20-12 at 2110 hrs Kenosha County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the 8000 block of CTH A /7th St with Somers Fire and Rescue in the Town of Somers for a crash involving an Amtrak train and a Jeep Cherokee. Initial reports indicate that a Jeep Cherokee was traveling eastbound on CTH A as the northbound train approached. The Jeep Cherokee did not initially slow or attempt to stop for the lights and crossing gates according to witnesses. When the Jeep did attempt to stop it was too late. The vehicle slid on the snow covered and slippery road about 150 feet off the road, through the ditch and up onto the train tracks. The driver was the only occupant of the Jeep. The driver was fatally injured in the crash. The driver’s name is being withheld pending notification of family members. There were 89 passengers on the train with three crew members. No one on the train reported any injury. Buses were brought in to remove the passengers. The train was heading from Chicago to Milwaukee. Other Amtrak service is being disrupted by this crash for at least a few hours.


Public works releases map for 2013 resurfacing

At Monday’s Public Works Committee meeting, Mike Lemens, public works director, unveiled the 2013 resurfacing map:

Flag 001_opt

The list of streets scheduled for resurfacing in 2013 include:

  1. 26th Avenue:   31st Street to 34th Street
  2. 34th Avenue:   86th Place to 88th Place
  3. Lincoln Rd Intersections:      28th Avenue and 22nd Avenue
  4. 70th Street:      39th Avenue to 40th Avenue
  5. Cul-de-Sacs:   87th Place West of 42nd Avenue and 44th Avenue south of 87th Place
  6. 40th Street:      Sheridan Road to 80 feet East

If there are any questions, they can be answered by Clement Abongwa, assistant city engineer.  He can be reached on (262) 653-4166.

Quota system ends for retail liquor licenses

Gas Station Selling LiquorAt Monday night’s Common Council meeting, several changes were approved to Chapter 10 of the code of general ordinances for the city of Kenosha entitled, “Alcohol Beverages.”  These changes were sponsored by Alderperson Jesse Downing, chairman of the Licensing & Permit Committee, and co-sponsored by Alderpersons Patrick Juliana, Rocco LaMacchia, and Curt Wilson.  The changes included:

  • Eliminating the self-imposed quota, which was previously set at one license for every 5,000 residents, allowing for 20 retail liquor licenses in the city.  All of these licenses are in use at the present time.
  • A new, separate system where two license violations in one year will result in a 60-day suspension, and three violations in one year will result in license revocation.

The retail liquor licenses will still fall under the point-based demerit system, where 100 demerit points over two years will result in a review of the license in front of the Licensing & Permit Committee that could result in suspension or revocation.  Any applicant for a Class A license will still need to apply to the city, contact the alderperson of the district, and be approved by the Common Council.

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War zone flag dedicated

Flag 002_optAt Monday night’s Common Council meeting, Scott Martell dedicated a flag on behalf of his son, an Iraqi war veteran.  Flags were flown in his son’s division from the home towns of the men and women who were serving there.  All who were serving in that war zone signed the flags.  The flags were then returned to the municipalities from which they came.  Three were returned to this area, one in Kenosha County, one in Kenosha, and one in Pleasant Prairie.

(The photographer apologizes to anyone who may have been cut out of the picture.)

Hancock tries to dispel rumors

chalk-board-KUSDLast night, the Kenosha Unified School District (KUSD) school board met for two hours.  Michele Hancock, superintendent of the district, made a PowerPoint presentation trying to dispel some of the rumors that she is hearing.  The rumors and facts that Hancock gave to dispel them are summarized below:

Rumor:  All staff will be fired when the contract expires on June 30, 2013.  Fact:  We cannot and would not do that.  State statutes protect that from happening.

Rumor:  Staff reductions and class size increases are the result of the Transformation Plan.  Fact:  No.  These changes are due to budgetary constraints and wage increases that have been included in the contract.  Eight hundred million dollars ($800 million) has been taken out of the Wisconsin education system.  I have never seen anything like it.

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BeExposed! to the Arts at the Rhode – holiday concert and art celebration

On Friday, December 21st, starting at 6 pm, at the Rhode Center for the Arts, located at 514 – 56th Street, in Kenosha, the Kenosha Art Association will be presenting The Kal Bergendahl Project Holiday Concert and Art Celebration.  The suggested donation is $5.

Come and enjoy a jazzy mix of your Christmas favorites performed by the Kal Bergendahl Project (KBP). Founded in the fall of 2005, the KBP steps into the worlds of vocal R&B, pop, and smooth jazz, creating a unique and interesting blend of music that attracts a wide audience. The group’s sounds are reminiscent of David Sanborn and Kirk Whalum on the jazz side and Norah Jones and John Mayer on the pop side.

Melodic variety is a key element of the KBP’s style, as a live show features pop and soul vocal melodies incorporated with instrumental melodies led by the saxophone, guitar and bass. This variety creates an intriguing musical texture that can be led by any member in the band.

The Kenosha Art Association’s mission is to promote art, art education, and art appreciation in the greater Kenosha area.  Visit their website at:

Health care benefits extended to domestic partners of city employees

At last night’s Finance Committee meeting, the proposed resolution sponsored by Aldperson Chris Schwartz and co-sponsored by Alderpersons Michael Orth, Scott Gordon, Curt Wilson, Tod Ohnstad, Jan Michalski, Daniel Prozanski, Anthony Kennedy, and Keith Rosenberg, authorizing and directing the directors of the Human Resources Department and the Finance Department of the city of Kenosha to extend health benefits coverage in the employee health plan to domestic partners of eligible city of Kenosha employees and their dependents, was approved unanimously.

When asked what the fiscal impact would be, Steve Stanczak, the city’s human resources director, said that “with statistics I’m familiar with, it would be less than 1% of a medical spend.”

Chairman Daniel Prozanski said that the city has no idea how many single employees would now elect to be covered under the family plan.  They have no data on the number of domestic partnerships in place, which have been registered with the state.

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Transit Commission approves bus fare increase yesterday’s Kenosha Board of Transit Commissioners meeting, there was unanimous support for the bus fare increase from $1.50 to $1.75 for adults, even though there was some discussion about just going to an even $2. Route supervisor Dave Ishmael said that, of the numerous phone calls that he fielded over the last six or seven weeks, most all of them made that comment.  “Why not just go to an even $2?”  He said that “80% of people will put in $2 now.  People don’t like to carry change.”  Most people said they were willing to pay more, $2 to $3; however, they wanted to make sure that the restored Saturday service would remain in place.  Transit director Ron Iwen agreed with Ishmael and said that he had similar sentiments expressed on phone calls he received.

On November 27th, the Common Council had voted to include $25,873 in the Transit budget to provide hourly bus service for all of the Saturday routes.  Currently, three Saturday routes run every other hour (Routes 2, 4, and 5).  Click here to read that article:   “Common Council Votes to Restore Hourly Bus Service on Saturday.”

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Bell asked Police/Fire Commission to request FBI investigation

At this morning’s Police and Fire Commission meeting, Michael M. Bell, retired Air Force lieutenant colonel and 21-year resident of Kenosha, requested that the commissioners contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to conduct an investigation into the patterns and practices of the Kenosha Police Department.  On Friday, Bell sent a portion of the affidavits discovered by his investigative team to the commissioners, to the FBI, and to the attorney general’s office.

Bell spoke during the citizen’s comments portion of the meeting.  He said that on November 9, 2004, his son, Michael E. Bell, was shot by police.  Bell said that there were eight people standing there on the day his son was shot, four police officers, and four eye witnesses.  “No one saw my son’s hand on any weapon,” he said.  He relayed the story of a nurse, who said that she heard gun shots and one of the police officers say, “What the hell did you do that for?” and “Get help now!”  Bell claims there was a cover up, and that the chief of police and top administrators were involved.  He then asked that the lead of his investigative team, Ira Robins, speak.

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A Christmas poem to keep you safe

Twas the NightThis 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 2012 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

T’was the night of the break-in, I again case your house.
I had cased it for weeks, quiet like a mouse.
There were no lights on, you had no alarm.
You made it so easy for me to do harm.
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Units responding to smoke odor in Kenosha home

Photo by kconnors with

Photo by kconnors with

At 6:40 a.m., Kenosha Fire Department units are responding to a report of strong odor of smoke in a home in the 5500 block of 32nd Avenue, in Kenosha.

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